City flats flooded as water leaks from roof-top tanks
A huge leak in the water tanks on top of a block of the Basin Street flats has left the homes of five families destroyed.
Residents have been left mopping up after thousands of litres of water poured through ceilings and light fittings on Saturday night and soaked their beds, clothes, furniture and floors.
They say a crew from Dublin City Council carried out some inspection work on the roof on Friday, but the tanks leaked on Saturday and the overflow channels that usually divert the water off the sides of the flats were blocked - forming a huge pool on the roof.
But apart from the damage caused to their homes and belongings, residents are angry at the response from the council to their housing needs.
"We were told at the weekend our options were to stay with relatives, pay for a hotel and claim the cost back, or go down to Parkgate Street and register as homeless," said Natasha O'Neill (35) who lives in one of the affected flats with her nine-year-old autistic son.
"This is a disaster for us. We stayed in my mother's place last night but there was six of us in one bedroom. We can't go on like that and we don't have the money to spend on hotels. We didn't cause this flood and yet we are the ones suffering because of it," she told the Herald.
Natasha's flat was flooded because the water seeped through from the flat above, in which Jessica Lennon (24) lives with her four-year-old son.
"I was out on Saturday night. When I left here everything was fine, when I got back everything was ruined," she said.
"I was mopping up all weekend. My hot press was like a shower with the amount of water flowing down into it, and the water was flowing from the light fittings. It was very dangerous.
"A man from the council told me to go to the Parkgate Street office and register as homeless, but this is my home. They say the other flats in the area that are vacant are not habitable, but my flat isn't habitable either and I need somewhere to live. I'm wearing the same clothes today that I was wearing on Saturday," she added.
Marie O'Neill (31) lives on the ground floor of the block, under Jessica and Natasha. It was Monday before the water reached her flat after flowing through the two above, but her situation is just as dire.
"I've had buckets and basins trying to catch the water but the floor is already destroyed. It's an absolute mess," she said.
All through the flats the smell of damp is heightened by the summer heat, and it is clear that most of the possessions of the families are ruined and the work to repair and redecorate their homes will take weeks.
Local community activist Damien Farrell said council staff had told him yesterday that the tanks that supply the block are leaking and that the outflow channels were blocked.
"Nobody from the council's housing department have come down here to discuss the needs of the residents in the affected flats," he said.
Dublin City Council was not able to respond to queries on the cause of the flooding, and the accommodation requirements of those affected by it.