Londoners begin clear-up after floods swamp parts of capital

13 July 2021, 13:33

By Daisy Stephens

The clean-up has begun following London’s flash floods on Monday.

The capital saw flooded railway lines, submerged cars and heavy disruption as it was battered by torrential downpours on Monday evening.

Musician Brian May, whose Kensington home was flooded, shared the aftermath of the floods on Instagram, saying: “The whole bottom floor had been inundated with a sewage overflow - which has covered our carpets, rugs and all kinds of precious (to us) things in a stinking sludge.

"It's disgusting, and actually quite heartbreaking.

“It feels like we were have been invaded, desecrated."

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He said his wife Anita Dobson had "a lifetime of memorabilia on the floor of our basement - and most of it is sodden and ruined".

May said he had recently moved his own "treasured" childhood photo albums into the basement.

"Today it turned into a sodden mess," he said.

"I'm devastated - this stuff is only 'things' - but it feels like Back To The Future when the photograph fades - feels like a lot of my past has been wiped out."

May shared a number of videos showing stained floors and wet belongings.

He blamed the "infamous" Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council for the flooding, saying they are "responsible for all the misery that is going on in my neighbourhood tonight".

May also blamed "selfish" residents in the borough who have constructed basements under their homes for disrupting drainage in the area, but the council disputed his claim.

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A council spokesman said: "Our priority is to make sure residents who have been affected by last night's flooding have the help they need.

"Overnight we have placed 120 residents in emergency hotel accommodation and are making emergency repairs this morning."

He added the council is making welfare calls to "vulnerable" residents and support centres have been set up in the area.

"Flash floods have affected boroughs across London after sudden and torrential rainfall," he added.

"This is causing damage and disruption across the city, not just here in Kensington and Chelsea, and is not linked to basement building."

In a tweet, the council is pointing affected people to where they can go for help.

As well as damage to property, the floods also resulted in significant travel disruption.

The London Overground, Circle and District lines were suspended or severely delayed, and lines out of Euston also had to be closed.

A number of stations such as Chalk Farm and Hampstead were also forced to close.

London Fire Brigade said it had taken more than 1,000 calls about the flooding.

The Met Office had issued a yellow weather warning for rain across a swathe of the south of England lasting until midnight on Monday.

Forecasters said parts of the South West faced the prospect of seeing 60mm of rainfall in just a few hours.