Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Flood Families Fears on Going Back Home; My Son Asked When We Could Go Home and When I Said I Didn't Know He Said 'Why? Because We Could Die?'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Flood Families Fears on Going Back Home; My Son Asked When We Could Go Home and When I Said I Didn't Know He Said 'Why? Because We Could Die?'

Article excerpt

ANGRY families have called for Newburn's flood-hit Mill Vale estate to be razed to the ground so nobody has to suffer again like they have.

Many people have spent days living in the town's leisure centre, unwilling to risk returning to their homes or move to unfurnished temporary housing in Newcastle's West End.

Mum-of-five Michelle Rodden, 39, said she had been forced to leave her 19-year-old ADHD suffering son in her house, while moving to the council-run building with 16-year-old pregnant daughter Stacey, 14-year-old Stephanie, Leighton, nine, and seven-year-old Demi-Leigh, who suffers from Hurler syndrome.

"Demi-Leigh was born with a rare genetic disorder and has had 34 surgeries so far," said Michelle, who had to struggle through the flood waters with the help of two neighbours to escape her home. "She's suffered pneumonia twice and her life expectancy is only 20 to 30.

"So far, though she knows something is wrong, she thinks it's a bit of an adventure.

"But I'm not prepared to go back to that house if there is any risk of something happening and we lose her.

"I only just got through the flood water last time. If it happened again I don't think I'd be able to carry her to safety." Mum-of-four Alison Nicholson, 44, who has been at the leisure centre with husband Paul, 42, two of her children, 13-year-old Michael and Leland, five, and six-month-old black Labrador puppy Dalton since Saturday, said she was "furious" at the situation she found her family in.

"It's an absolute mess," the home carer, who privately rented a townhouse on Mill Vale, said. "We're homeless and we're penniless. We've asked if there is serious danger if we go back, but nobody will guarantee that there's not.

"On Sunday night some of the people who have stayed up there said they heard something like a massive explosion or landslide. …

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