Call for answers after flood 'destroyed parents' love letters and vinyl records'
- Credit: Jody Thompson/David Snow
A West End Lane couple flooded out of their home two weeks ago have criticised the response from the authorities - and spoken of the heartbreak of losing family love letters and record collections in the storm.
Jody Thompson and partner David Snow live at the southern end of the road and were among the hardest hit.
Jody - a journalist and consultant - said their home was deluged by foul water and sewage on July 12, and she lost priceless family possessions. She said water even exploded from the plumbing.
She described being left speechless after David was asked by a Thames Water rep whether he called a plumber during the freak weather. She criticised Camden Council for the time it took to discuss issues including the collection of ruined furniture.
"It's been beyond comprehension," she said. "I just don't think you can get your head around it. Everything is gone.
"I had only just sold and cleared my parents' family home - and had boxes of things. Love letters they'd written each other, a priceless record collection."
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Jody said Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) - her flat's freeholder - was difficult to deal with when trying to arrange temporary accommodation.
A NHG spokesperson said: "Residents in more than 300 of our homes, including 24 leaseholders like Jody and David, were affected by the devastating flash floods on Monday July 12. We appreciate completely how distressing the damage and upheaval has been, and our teams worked hard to ensure everyone’s safety in the immediate aftermath."
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They said: "For a period on Monday when our call centre would normally have received 30 calls, they received 600, which meant that we weren’t able to respond as quickly as we would have liked to everyone. We’ve since put in place measures to ensure we can step up capacity more quickly in the future."
Thames Water said there was no truth in a rumour that closing an underground sluice gate could have protected the West Hampstead, Kilburn and Maida Vale area.
A spokesperson added "more than a month's worth of rain" fell within an hour, but said: "We’re really sorry some of our customers didn’t experience the high level of service they rightly expect.
“We continue to visit affected customers to arrange clean-ups of their properties and have members of our customer support team in the area. "
Camden Council said it had spoken to the couple and provided information requested.