'Disgraceful': No compensation for cancer survivor after flash floods
Hannah Neary, LDRS
- Credit: George Hodson
A cancer survivor from Maida Vale who has lived at Premier Inn for 12 weeks after his home was destroyed by flooding will not receive compensation.
George Hodson is calling for more support from officials after flash floods on July 12 left him without a permanent home. Around 230 properties in Westminster were flooded following intense rainfall.
The pensioner thinks Thames Water should offer more support to residents, including financial compensation.
The Maida Vale resident has since been put up in temporary housing at six different hotels by Westminster Council.
“I’m 72 and just getting over cancer,” George said. “I’ve been living in a Premier Inn for 12 weeks.
“I think it’s disgraceful. They’re blaming each other. They’re not taking responsibility.
“I felt totally out of control of my own life and choices in the hands of these anonymous officials. They’ve got no heart.”
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George says he does not have insurance and has lost many of his belongings.
“I’ve got to rebuild everything and I’ve got no money to rebuild it either,” he said. “I’ve got no bed, no savings.”
The 72-year-old said he feels traumatised by the flooding, which ruined his garden and many prized possessions
Living in a hotel has also meant George had to send his pets to stay with friends, which he says has left him even more isolated.
“I haven’t been without a dog in 20 years,” he added. “So I’m living heartbroken without my little dogs to cuddle.
“I can’t take much more. I’m not well, I’m worn down.”
A Thames Water spokesperson said the company was sad to hear of George’s story and that it understood the “dreadful” impact of the flooding.
“Flooding is a complex situation that requires a multi-agency response, and this is why in most cases we’re unable to accept liability unless our pipes and pumps have failed to operate in the way they were designed to,” the spokesperson said.
“Our systems are designed to cope with most storms, but not those on the scale experienced on July 12.
“At this stage our initial investigations into the storms have not found any evidence of a failure that would have significantly contributed to the flooding.”
Thames Water will be holding an independent review into the flash flooding, but critics including Westminster Council’s opposition, have criticised its speed and substance.
Westminster council is responsible for local highway drainage, while Thames Water manages the sewer network.
Westminster Council has been contacted for comment.