House insurance fears as flooding group launches survey
- Credit: @lunanana___
A new South Hampstead group is gathering evidence about flooding that destroyed homes earlier this year.
The South Hampstead Flooding Action Group has launched a survey to gain a "better picture" of which properties were affected by the floods on July 12.
Thames Water must "enlarge and improve the drainage locally", and "ensure the drains don’t get clogged", the group said.
In response, Thames Water said it "sympathises with everyone affected by the flooding" and had a "dedicated team" supporting customers.
At the end of July, it apologised for its “unacceptable” communication with residents, and announced it would be running an independent review into the flash floods.
However, Thames Water told the Ham&High on Thursday (September 9) that the investigation hasn’t yet started, as the independent panel who will be running it is still being put together.
Flood action group organiser Joan Munro explained she felt the water company needed to act swiftly on residents' concerns.
She said: "We're just concerned really, we don't want to be flooded every year. I wasn't personally affected this time, but many of my neighbours were by the torrent of water.
"We're quite worried that we won't be able to get our houses insured because of it."
The survey is open for South Hampstead residents to complete until the end of September.
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A Thames Water spokesperson said the intensity and volume of rainfall tested its drainage assets "beyond the limits they were designed to cope with".
They added: "Events like this are a harsh reminder of the devastating impact that climate change can and will have in the future.
"Severe storms look set to become the new normal across the UK, and ensuring our network can operate sufficiently to prevent or mitigate flash flooding needs to now become the collective new focus for all organisations involved in the UK’s water network and drainage systems.
“At this stage, our initial investigations have not found any evidence of a failure on our network that would have significantly contributed to the flooding.
"However, as with any extreme weather event of this nature, we want to fully understand what lessons we can learn and an independent investigation will take place over the coming the months."
To complete the survey click here.