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Carpenders Park resident's anger over sandbag availability amid flood alert
A Carpenders Park resident said trying to find a sandbag to protect her property from flood damage has been "an absolute joke" after she failed to obtain one from local councils.
Celia Welch, 59, said water has been "creeping" towards her Penrose Avenue home after weeks of heavy rainfall.
Bank worker, Mrs Welch, said she was sent "all over the place" trying to obtain a sandbag to prevent her home from flooding.
She added: "This whole thing has been really upsetting and my husband and I have been trying so hard to get a sandbag. We went to Hertfordshire County Council and they sent us to Three Rivers District Council.
"Trying to get a sandbag in Hertfordshire is an absolute joke. I want a sandbag to protect my property and it’s been so stressful trying to find one.
"We are pensioners and all our lives we’ve been working to have a home. Any water damage would affect my insurance and it would affect if we wanted to move because who would want to buy a property that is flooded?"
After days of searching, Mrs Welch and her 62-year-old retired husband, John, sought help from Rickmansworth Fire Station, who provided the couple with sandbags.
Mr and Mrs Welch have installed the water deterrents outside their home in the hope the flood does not encroach on their driveway any further.
Mr Welch added that the couple have experienced flooding on their road since June last year as the drain outside their bungalow does not filter the water properly.
Mr Welch, a Penrose Avenue resident for seven years, said: "The water often just sits on top of the road and the whole road and pavement has become flooded in the past, making the need for sandbags all the more urgent.
"When a van comes down our road water comes down our driveway and we’re obviously unhappy and worried because we live in a bungalow, which is quite low."
Simon Hoggett, spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council, said it is up to individual districts to decide whether or not to issue sandbags and that, ultimately, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to protect their property.
Mr Hoggett said: "Some districts have chosen to issue sandbags to residents when necessary. This is entirely discretionary and they have no obligation to do so, and those that do have various criteria.
"At the end of the day, however, the householder is responsible for protecting their own property and a trip down the builder merchants may be the easiest way.
"That being said I know that both the Environment Agency will help in severe environmental flooding situations and our highways team will help if the flooding was coming off the road."
Kevin Snow, spokesman for Three Rivers, said district councils do provide support and advice for residents in the event of emergencies, but he added that flood bags can be purchased from DIY shops and other suppliers.
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