A PENSIONER has spoken of the misery and ill effects she suffers living in a home flooded 15 times — and the continued frustration of not knowing when the problem with a blocked brook and drains will be fixed.


Christine Hunter thought when she moved into her 'dream home' in Collingwood Road, Shanklin, in December 2018, life in retirement would be comfortable and contented. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Christine Hunter has been flooded out 15 times in the past 21 months. (Image: County Press)Christine Hunter has been flooded out 15 times in the past 21 months. (Image: County Press) (Image: County Press)

But life has become a "living nightmare" for the 78-year-old retired drama teacher.

Christine had no problems until August 17, 2022 — a date cruelly etched on her mind.

Following a long period of dry weather, torrential rain fell and, over a period of just 15 minutes, "havoc and heartache" followed.

"The water poured into my driveway from all directions — from Collingwood Road, but mainly from the brook, which runs alongside my property," said Christine.

"My car was written off and my garage and ground floor was full of muddy water and all my personal belongings there were destroyed."

Further floods occurred, which led to a second car being submerged and written off — despite Christine parking it further up her driveway.

Her driveway, garage and ground floor living area — which she intended to use for visiting family and friends — all remain unusable.

Water levels, at their worst, climbed above Christine's height, about 5ft, and just a foot from the property's electrical box.

Such was the power of the first deluge, it buckled the garage door and toppled over a fridge freezer.

Christine's insurance company brought in dehumidifiers to dry out the property and were about to send in builders to reinstate the damage, but on New Year's Eve, 2022, an equally catastrophic flood happened. 

The garage floor remains under about 2ft of water and the ground floor is hazardous, covered in thick, slippery mud.

There is black mould on the walls, with weeds growing, not to mention an awful stench.

The deluges — the most recent last weekend — have led to a doubling of her insurances for her current car, home and its contents.

Christine has forked out thousands on reinforcing her garden wall and fence, as well as storage for salvaged items, fees to dehumidify and pump out water, and to rent a parking space.

"The foundations have been under water for more than 21 months and this is taking a toll on both my mental and physical health," she said.

Isle of Wight County Press: Christine Hunter in her ground floor bathroom after repeated floods.Christine Hunter in her ground floor bathroom after repeated floods. (Image: County Press)

The Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads are investigating the flood causes. 

Island Roads sent divers to investigate on January 12 last year, telling Christine a few days' later "bricks and rubble were causing the blockage".

An Island Roads spokesperson said: "We are aware of the ongoing flooding issues within the vicinity of Collingwood Road and we have every sympathy with residents and businesses affected.

"Our investigations found an obstruction or collapse within a private section of piped watercourse further downstream, beyond Carter Avenue, which is reducing the capacity and functionality of the wider drainage system.

"It ultimately causes the system to back up and flood further upstream at Collingwood Road.

"The highway surface water system, for which Island Roads is responsible, is functioning as intended and maintained.

"A drainage investigation case file has been prepared for the council and we will continue to work together to manage this issue appropriately."

Christine says her home is currently "unsellable" and that the Island Roads response had "not filled her with optimism".

"Before I bought it, I had no idea there was even a brook there, because it was so full of brambles and weeds.

"I've been so scared I'd have a heart attack and keel over because of how badly it has all got to me.

"I'm very stressed. It's an ongoing nightmare. It's taken a toll on my health. 

"I already cried too many tears. I love the Island and this was my retirement dream. Had I known it was a flood risk, I wouldn't have bought the house."