Water company counts the cost after Upper Clapton flood

Twelve people spent the night in a hotel after a flood when a water main burst in Upper Clapton.

Thames Water picked up the tab for the dozen residents from Northwold Road when water gushed down the road after a mains pipe burst on Thursday afternoon.

Gallons of water mixed with clay poured into basements in Northwold, Alconbury and Norcott roads, affecting 40 properties in Upper Clapton.

Bedding was soaked in basement flats and furniture damaged in the flood.

Designer Russell Barratt described how food was floating in the kitchen of his basement flat and material in his studio was damaged. His mattress was also soaked by muddy flood water.

Residents were facing a big mop up this weekend as Thames Water loss adjusters started counting the cost.

Thames Water spokesman Simon Evans said: “Last night we had 12 people in hotel in accommodation. We were offering hotel accommodation to anyone with uninhabitable living conditions.”

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Some properties were still without gas and electricity today but the water supply had been restored quickly on Thursday.

Mr Evans said the priority was working with residents “to get their homes back and get their lives back.”

Earlier today Thames Water apologised for the delay in getting loss adjusters to the scene.

The utilities firm said: “Our priority now is getting the insurance process moving to get people who were flooded back in their homes as soon as possible so they can get their lives back to normal again.

“The first part of this process is making sure our loss adjusters are on the scene to help these customers as soon as possible. Unfortunately our team of external loss adjusters were not there anywhere near promptly enough.

“This has, understandably, further upset some people. We apologise for this. This is unacceptable. We have told our supplier that.”

Mr Evans said experts will also be trying to fund out what caused the burst.

He added: “It was a 100-year-old cast iron pipe which burst. These big bursts don’t happen every day. We are taking a chunk of the pipe to be forensically analysed in the lab.”

He said it was too early to tell what caused the burst but repeated heavy vibrations from traffic can cause hairline cracks to develop and weather conditions can also have an impact. Warm weather can cause clay which holds pipes in place to dry out.

Workers are fixing damage to the pipe and will also be repairing damage to the road. The repair work is likely to take a week, causing disruption to traffic and to the number 106 bus which runs from Finsbury Park to Whitechapel.

Mr Evans said: “We are sorry that people’s lives have been disrupted.

“We are offering accommodation to customers who still have got interruptions to their gas and electricity.

“It’s our responsibility, it’s our fault. If anyone has had anything damaged our insurance will sort it out. We are going to make as good a job as we can.”