Residents still unable to return to homes damaged by Storm Ciarán tornado

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (37677847)

RESIDENTS of a St Clement estate that was devastated by Storm Ciarán are still in temporary accommodation more than four months after a tornado tore through their homes.

Angie Tonner, who has lived at FB Cottages for 16 years, described roofs caving in and flooding at properties which are still missing roof tiles that were flung off by the sheer force of the winds that hit Jersey in November.

She has criticised estate agents Maillard & Co, who manage the properties on behalf of the FB Cottages Housing Trust, over the pace of repairs, saying: “They haven’t fixed anything since the storm.”

Maillard & Co, who confirmed that ten families remained in temporary accommodation, have moved to reassure residents that repairs are under way, but said they “understand that the lack of visual progress on site can give a false interpretation that little is being progressed”.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (37677860)

St Clement was one of the worst-hit places in the Island when a tornado, believed to be the most powerful twister recorded in the British Isles for 70 years, made landfall in the parish before causing severe damage across the east of the Island and exiting at Fliquet.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Mrs Tonner said, residents had been given a two-month rent-free period by the estate agents and were assured that they could retain their tenancies.

Residents were moved to temporary accommodation – some with other housing trusts, and others with family, in hotels or in self-catering accommodation.

Maillard & Co said they had set up a weekly update for residents, published every Friday.

But, Mrs Tonner said, months had gone by without her seeing any visible repairs to her home despite visiting every week.

“It just looks exactly the same as it did after the storm,” she said.

Mrs Tonner, who has been put up at Les Ormes with her family, said she appreciated her temporary accommodation, but added: “I would rather be home.”

Mrs Tonner’s daughter Carly – who lived with Mrs Tonner at FB Cottages before the storm – posted on Facebook recently, saying residents felt “helpless and forgotten”.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (37677862)

She added: “[The house] wasn’t even given temporary waterproofing, so most of our belongings rotted away in rainwater until we could organise a storage unit. The house, in fact, is still just rotting away.”

Mrs Tonner said that she could understand if repairs were slow – but that she would like to get updates and know when she could move back into her home.

“We don’t even know if we’ll be in that house,” she said.

“We don’t know what’s going on.”

Responding to the complaints in a statement, Maillard & Co said they had been on site “on the day and days immediately after the storm helping residents and arranging for temporary repairs”.

They added: “To date, ten of the properties that were damaged where residents are still in situ have been completed. Repairs to a further eight properties are currently in progress. After these have been completed scaffolding will be moved to a further three houses.

“On the most severely damaged properties, ten families remain in alternative accommodation, some through properties we have sourced within other housing trust providers; the rest are either living with family, in hotels or in self-catering accommodation.

“The repairs to these properties have been specified, agreed by the loss adjuster and are out for tender. Once they are back, they will be reviewed, agreed with the loss adjuster and insurers with a view to carrying out the repairs as soon as possible.

“In the interim, the replacement windows have now arrived and will soon be fitted.

“We are in the process of commencing works to the children’s play area, clearing garden walls and fallen trees, and carrying out works to the communal gardens.

“We understand that the lack of visual progress on site can give a false interpretation that little is being progressed.

“However we can reassure all parties that with all the work carried out in the recent months by the project manager, property managers and loss adjusters, once the work to the remaining properties commence good progress will be seen, allowing us to welcome back our residents as soon as possible.

“We have committed and will continue to keep residents up to date on a weekly basis.”

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –