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Lung wait man in flooding fear

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Lung wait man in flooding fear

A MAN awaiting a lung transplant says rising floodwaters around his house in Dumfries came within inches of threatening his oxygen supply.

Thomas Handley relies on a powered breathing device in his Lincluden home, but says water erupting from drains during Saturday’s heavy downpours saw him nearly forced to switch off his electricity.

Mr Handley, 50, of Margaret Walk, said: “I’m on the lung transplant list — they don’t work anymore — and I’m on oxygen 24/7.

“The drains erupted and the water was up to my door.”

And Mr Handley — who suffers from the hereditary condition Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency — says this is the second time in three years that his house has been under threat.

As contaminated water spewed up into his garden, trapping him inside, he said: “I’m on oxygen, and if it came into the house I would have had to turn off all my electricity and I would have had to turn off my machine and use portable bottles.”

Stressing the urgency of the situation to Scottish Water, he added: “I told them, if the water comes in the door it affects the electricity, my machine stops and I can’t breathe.”

Scottish Water called the next day, hosed the ground and sprayed disinfectant.

But Mr Handley notes this does not resolve a danger he says is due to his and the neighbouring house sitting in a dip on the road.

He says drains were inspected last year and action pledged, but that nothing has been done.

Scottish Water confirm they cleared debris from Mr Handley’s garden on Sunday, and a spokesman said: “The weather saw a number of reports of flash flooding at the weekend and our teams attended to help as quickly as possible.”

He added: “Scottish Water’s flooding investigation team is currently carrying out a study in the Dumfries area and will liaise with the local council on any issues that arise.

“Properties in Margaret Walk are part of this investigation.”

Thomas Handley footage of the flood water at his front door
Thomas Handley …phone footage of the flood water at his front door