COUNTY NEWS: Supermarket shelves '˜empty' says father trying to buy water

A Sussex father said when he went to buy bottled water at supermarkets near him the shelves were '˜empty'.

Robert Gosling with wife Emma and daughter Heather
Robert Gosling with wife Emma and daughter Heather

Robert Gosling, who lives in Cuckfield with his wife, Emma, and their daughter, Heather, are among residents in West Sussex who have have been suffering without water due to burst pipes.

The IT support manager said his family have not had water since Saturday night.

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He said: “I went out to buy bottled water and found all local supermarkets had empty shelves until I got as far as the big Tesco in Burgess Hill but even they didn’t have much left. All my neighbours are having the same problem.

“There are many elderly people in the village, including two care homes, and a lot of whom probably don’t drive.

“It is really worrying how something we all take so much for granted can suddenly not be there anymore. I couldn’t brush my teeth this morning never mind making my usual wake-up coffee.

“If we hadn’t of had a bucket of water left waiting to be tipped out, which we used to wash the floor with, we would have had nothing to flush the toilet with.

“South East Water has now opened a bottle distribution point just around the corner but is rationing to two litres per person. The people running it said they expected to be there for up to three more days.

“It really is quite shocking to realise just how dependent we all are on turning on a tap and having clean water come out of it.

“We have enough water to drink and cook with and if we’re very careful we can boil some in pans to wash dishes and then use it to flush the loo.

“I have had to go into work unwashed with a towel and toiletry bag to use the shower at work, which is used by all the cyclists and joggers.

“When we do get our supply back I will see about doing something to keep a small amount in reserve in future, perhaps a couple of caravan type water carriers.”

There is water supply problems across the south east and South East Water has said this has put ‘extreme pressure’ on their network, causing burst pipes across the region. Read our story here.