Flash floods 'three feet high' leave basement flats 'uninhabitable'

Floods in Maida Vale (centre/left) and drenched belongings (right)

Floods in Maida Vale (centre/left) and drenched belongings (right) - Credit: Norradean Amorro/Jenny Rushforth/Westminster Labour

Seeing residents forced to pile their waterlogged possessions on the streets from flash floods on Monday was “heartbreaking”, a local councillor has said.  

Cllr Geoff Barraclough (Lab, Maida Vale) said the wave of downpours on Monday (July 12) left dozens of basement flats “uninhabitable” in Shirland Road and Kilburn Park Road – and that water rising from the sewers reached as high as three feet in some homes.     

With many residents’ furniture and bedding left ruined by the flooding, streets were pictured and filmed showing the extent of the damage.  

At Lord’s, a grasscutter was seen wading through water up to his knees that engulfed a large swathe of the cricket ground’s outfield.

The Carlton Tavern meanwhile said that despite its basement initially becoming flooded, the pub “got away” without major damage.  

“It was heartbreaking to see residents piling their waterlogged possessions in the street,” Cllr Barraclough said.  

“In the short-term we have been in touch with Westminster Housing and Notting Hill Genesis demanding action to help their tenants cope with the damage and disruption.   

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“Longer term, we need answers about how this was allowed to happen."

Tom Rees, landlord of the Carlton Tavern, said that water got in through “various” parts of the pub above the basement, and that staff bailed water out of a doorway for an hour to stem the flow into the kitchen.

Flooding at the Carlton Tavern

Flooding at the Carlton Tavern - Credit: Tom Rees

Cllr Rachael Robathan, leader of Westminster City Council, said: “I visited some of the areas worst hit by the flooding and people are devastated. They have seen their homes ruined and their possessions on the pavement. Their stories are harrowing.

“We are working with adult social care and housing associations to ensure people have a place to stay in the longer term. We will also ensure emergency accommodation is provided for those who need a bed tonight.

“Our City Council teams are working around the clock and are on the streets of the worst affected areas to ensure everyone has access to the practical help they need.”

A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “Having your home flooded by surface water contaminated with waste from the sewers is horrible and we sympathise with everyone affected.  

“Anyone impacted by sewer flooding should contact us so we can visit them and clean up."