Finsbury Park flooding: People evacuated from homes after burst pipe leaves streets under water
PUBLISHED: 08:51 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 08 October 2019
A burst pipe has left streets around Finsbury Park under water, with people having to be rescued from their flooded homes by firefighters.
Those living in Queen's Drive, Brownswood Road and surrounding streets woke up to find the whole area flooded after the rupture at 7.45am.
Basement properties are said to be "neck high" in floodwater and completed ruined. Thames Water workers and firefighters are at the scene evacuating properties and trying to stop the flow of water.
The Voice winner and youth campaigner Jermain Jackman took to Twitter to say his road had "literally been turned into a river".
He told the Gazette: "The crack was so huge it was lifting up a car. Never seen or experienced anything like it. There are people in the area who have had their homes flooded - I just hope the local authorities are able to help them and provide with the support they need."
Tomas Tengely-Evans, who lives in Brownswood Road, added: "A few people tried go out in wellingtons earlier, but the water is getting higher and faster. I'm on the first floor, so it's relatively safe - but all the basement flats are flooded."
Homes in N1, N4, N5, N7 and N19 are said to be experiencing low water pressure as a result.
Lorraine Pearson, who lives at the junction of Seven Sisters Road and Queen's Drive, added: "It's like the rapids churning down Queen's Drive. It's like a river.
"Our kids go to Parkwood Primary School [in Queen's Drive] and they can't go to school this morning.
"The whole road from the school all the way down to Brownswood Road is like a river and it's running like rapids, all swirling water.
"The water is coming up three foot out of the ground. I have never seen anything like this. We have no water.
"If you turn on the tap nothing comes out. In our house we have six kids. The ones that go to Ambler are at school and the ones at Parkwood can't."
Izzy Lim's flat was flooded and her cats had to be rescued. She said: "My flat's flooded. My cats had to be rescued from the basement. The cats are slightly traumatised and a bit wet."
Izzy, who works as a vet, added: "I was on my way to work, it was my neighbours who called me. I came back and the street was completely flooded.
"I told the firemen I have cats in the basement floor so they went in to get them."
She has one Abyssinian cats called Paris, 15, and two rescue cats Ursula, five and Matilda, one.
She added: "Lots of people have been really kind and offered homes, spare rooms and cat food, which is very kind of them.
"I would have been devastated if something had happened to them."
Hugh Ritzema-Carter, who lives in Mountgrove Road, told the Gazette: "My flat is destroyed. It's a basement, it's flooded under 10ft of water.
"I own the flat - all my savings and pension are down there. It never crossed my mind this could happen. Every penny I've got in the world is in that flat. If I don't get compensation don't know what I'll do."
Another person who lives in Queen's Drive said: "My house is flooded. The garden is flooded like a swimming pool. My dad was trying to fight the water but the pressure was too much. He has a lot of dust sheets because he's a carpenter.
"He is still trying to salvage our stuff, Where's everyone going to sleep tonight because houses are totally destroyed?"
Another bystander said: "There's an old woman who lives in sheltered housing. She's not mobile and she must be freezing. If the water's going in she [could] drown."
Twelve fire engines and around 80 firefighters, as well other specialist vehicles, are at the scene.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "An area measuring around 600 metres by 200 metres has been flooded to a depth of around one metre.
"Firefighters are evacuating residents from affected properties. Queen's Drive and Brownswood Road are currently closed to traffic."
Station manager Jonathan Parker, speaking at the scene, said: "Crews have been visiting the worst affected properties and leading residents to safety where necessary, as well working hard to pump water away from the area and prevent flooding from spreading to other properties."
Fire crews from Holloway, Stoke Newington, Islington, Kentish Town and Tottenham fire stations are at the scene.
Hackney Council has now set up a rest centre for people whose homes are affected while the pipe is repaired.
Mayor Phil Glanville said a scheduled simulation of a high-rise fire set to take place at the Woodberry Down Estate today has been cancelled, with resources diverted to the flooding less than a mile away.
A Thames Water spokesperson said: "We're sorry to any customers affected by our burst main this morning.
"We've sent our specialist engineers to the scene as a top priority, and they will be working hard to get everything back to normal as soon as possible."