Retired couple’s flooding nightmare ends in big clean-up

Bob O''Connell stands in his bathroom where the burst pipe originated. 208747_01.

By Brendan Rees

After nine long weeks an elderly Blind Bight couple are finally looking forward to regaining some sense of normality after a burst pipe left their home inundated in water.

Bob O’Connell said he had woken about 4am when he stood in at least two to three inches of water at his Fishermans Drive home.

According to Mr O’Connell, a pipe had burst in his bathroom, which he believed had shot water out for hours, causing a sizeable mess.

Cabinets in the kitchen and two bathrooms had to be replaced and all the carpet ripped up.

“Believe me there was a lot of water,” Mr O’Connell, 78, said, describing the situation as “very uncomfortable”.

He said he used a wet and dry vacuum to collect about 150 litres of water which helped “dry it out a little quicker”.

Though the couple count themselves lucky that the flooding didn’t cause more damage after salvaging most of their furniture.

The couple’s insurance company would cover the costs of the damage.

The incident, which happened about the time pandemic restrictions came into place, forced the couple to move all their household items into their garage and porch while work crews blasted dehumidifier machines throughout their home.

They also had to leave the house straight away and move to emergency accommodation for a few days before staying at their son’s property in The Gurdies in South Gippsland.

“They reckon they’ve fixed it – all I’ve got to hope is they’re right,” he said, adding the biggest problem that lay ahead was potential mold growth.

New carpet is due to be laid in their single-storey house on Friday 21 May which comes as a welcome reprieve.

“Everything should be back to normal,” Mr O’Connell said. “Virtually all up its going to be about nine weeks.”

He believed the burst pipe may have been caused by rust with the hole about 3mm to 4mm wide.

“I can tell for now every probably five to six years I will be changing these five flexible hoses in the house.”


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