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Upper Holloway residents ‘abandoned’ in Thames Water weekend water shortage

Plight of elderly when taps run dry and then lift breaks

09 March, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Postgraduate student Louisa Acciari: ‘No one contacted us’

RESIDENTS at a block of flats have hit out at the Town Hall and Thames Water after vulnerable tenants were left to fend for themselves during a weekend water shortage.

The extreme cold weather last week brought burst pipes and water supply cuts throughout the capital, including in parts Islington.

“No one contacted us to say we had no water. We were told it was a non-issue by the council when we called them. I got so mad,” said postgraduate student Louisa Acciari, a 17th-floor resident of Talbot House, off Hornsey Rise, Upper Holloway.

She added: “Luckily, we could shower at university but other people in other homes, I don’t know what they did. There are families and old people here. No one from Thames Water or the council called us or brought us water.”

Ms Acciari said the water supply had returned by Monday lunchtime, but elderly residents were still left trapped in their homes by a broken lift at their 19-storey block.

A Thames Water spokesman said that customers with water should only use it where essential.

“Following the recent freeze and rapid thaw, water companies across London and the South-east are experiencing exceptionally high levels of demand for water due to multiple bursts on networks and an increase in leaks in customer properties.

“We are all working hard to prioritise supplies for vulnerable customers, to provide bottled water where necessary and to provide updates via social media and our websites.

“We would also ask all our customers to check their own pipes for bursts and call a plumber if necessary.”

An Islington Council spokesman said: “Thames Water had a major issue with water supplies across London at the weekend.

“We are concerned Thames Water didn’t offer more support to  vulnerable customers, including at Talbot House.

“We will continue to review how the council can best support our tenants when there is a loss of water supply.”

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