Search

Five feet high and rising: Clapton flats’ flood fears as Thames Water chiefs fail to stem torrent

PUBLISHED: 14:14 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:17 03 October 2018

A family being rescued from the floods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul Wood

A family being rescued from the floods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul Wood

Archant

A massive flood is still rising 12 hours after a water main burst off Lea Bridge Road, with Thames Water accused of appearing clueless about how to stem the flow of water.

People are being pulled out through the windows of flats by firefighters into dinghies, and cars in Waterworks Lane are submerged in five foot of water.

Neighbours heard a bang as a Victorian cast iron water pipe exploded next to the Princess of Wales pub last night at 10pm, leaving a huge hole that quickly filled up with water.

Waterworks Lane is flooded five foot deep and water levels are still rising. Picture: Emma BartholomewWaterworks Lane is flooded five foot deep and water levels are still rising. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

But although some of the deluge is cascading into the canal, and firemen are using pumps to suck it up, water levels are still rising.

Matt, who lives in one of 72 flats at Paradise Park where an underground car park is completely flooded, told the Gazette: “A fireman just told me the water levels are accelerating, and it could get very serious indeed. They have risen two and a half inches in the last 45 minutes.

Floods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul WoodFloods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul Wood

“I’m very frustrated we are seemingly no further on than at 11pm last night. Thames Water keeps saying ‘we are looking at how to turn it off’, but I’d like to see the water level stop rising. If they can’t do anything in the next 12 hours I’m not convinced they can do anything period.

“They said the valves aren’t working because the gears are jammed and some are concreted over, so the things that should have stopped it don’t work and they are looking at more drastic solutions. It could breach the ground floor flats.”

Where it all began - a whirlpool is visible above where the water main has burst. Picture: Emma BartholomewWhere it all began - a whirlpool is visible above where the water main has burst. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Electricity bosses are on standby in case water gets any closer to an electricity sub-station by the former Old Ship pub.

Andrew Northwood was alerted to the flood by neighbours in Paradise Park at 3am this morning, and went back to bed after he moved his car out of the underground car park.

A rescue from the floods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul WoodA rescue from the floods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul Wood

“When I woke up this morning I expected the flow to have stopped and the water level to have gone down but instead it’s gone up by another five feet,” he said.

“They didn’t appear to have a solution last night and it’s still rising now. They brought in these high power pumps this morning, but why didn’t they bring them in last night?

Waterworks Lane is flooded five foot deep after a water main burst. Picture: Emma BartholomewWaterworks Lane is flooded five foot deep after a water main burst. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

“They say it will be at least a week until we can think about getting back into our flats, and in the foreseeable future we have no drainage, no heating and no water.

“Thames Water employ an agency which would find us hotel accommodation, but they are saying they have yet to make a decision - to us it’s evident it’s necessary.”

A submerged car in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul WoodA submerged car in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul Wood

One of the Thames Water workers told the Gazette: “We don’t know what valves we can get to, and which ones we can’t get to, so it’s a process of elimination.

“We have to turn the water off, but there are a lot of valves, and some of them are underwater, so we need to go back further.

A rescue from the floods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul WoodA rescue from the floods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul Wood

“At the start there probably would have been five or six valves to shut, but now it’ll be more because we can’t get to them.”

Firefighters were alerted just before 9am this morning, and there were 40 fire fighters at the scene by lunchtime.

A submerged car in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul WoodA submerged car in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul Wood

Kriss Lee, whose home overlooks the flooding, said he thought they were fighting a losing battle.

“They are trying to suck the water out through a 6in pipe. The burst pipe is 36in.

Andrew Northwood is worried he will be evacuated from his flat in Paradise Park. Picture: Emma BartholomewAndrew Northwood is worried he will be evacuated from his flat in Paradise Park. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

“It’s not quite reached my door yet but it will.”

A Thames Water spokesperson said they were sorry for the disruption. 
“Our specialist team of customer reps, ambassadors and loss adjustors are in the area to support our customers at what we know will be a difficult time for those affected by the flooding,” they added.

Fire fighters check water levels which are still rising. Picture: Emma BartholomewFire fighters check water levels which are still rising. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

“Our top priority will be minimising disruption for them and getting things back to normal as soon as we possibly can.

“Our engineers have been working hard since the early hours to stop the water flowing from the pipe and in the meantime we’re extremely grateful for efforts of the fire service to help pump water away from properties.”

The underground carpark is full to overflowing at Paradise Park, with water levels rising up the stairs. Picture: Emma BartholomewThe underground carpark is full to overflowing at Paradise Park, with water levels rising up the stairs. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Leabridge’s Cllr Ian Rathbone, said: “Once again, residents and those travelling through Lea Bridge Road have had their lives disrupted by Thames Water.

“In the last few years they have caused many months of misery and problems in the Lea Bridge Road area because they did not seem to be able to understand their own pipes, where they were or how to replace them.”

Water is cascading past the Princess of Wales pub into the canal. Picture: Emma BartholomewWater is cascading past the Princess of Wales pub into the canal. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Paradise Park residents dig a trench to encourage water to flow into Millfields Park rather than their own properties. Picture: Emma BartholomewParadise Park residents dig a trench to encourage water to flow into Millfields Park rather than their own properties. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Floods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul WoodFloods in Clapton on Wednesday morning. Picture: Paul Wood

Latest Hackney Stories

18:00

Ultra-marathon hero Kevin Webber was presented with a cheque for £150,000 after completing seven walking marathons in seven days

The Chilean praised Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the capital clash

14:00

Clapton manager Jonny Fowell says they will not worry about the threats Sporting Bengal pose, but insists they will have to shut down former Tons striker Jay Knight.

13:00

West Ham United return to action in the Premier League on Saturday when they welcome fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur to the London Stadium.

A teenager has been found guilty of “hunting” and murdering Israel Ogunsola with a knife in central Hackney.

Mauricio Pochettino and Harry Kane urge Spurs to kick on following record-equalling league start

Two east London clubs will go head-to-head at the Mile End Stadium this evening

Wembley Stadium plays host to the second of its three NFL games of the season on Sunday and fans will be hoping that they are treated to a better game than last week’s one-sided contest between the Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists