Cost of damage runs into thousands as Clayhall street clears up after floods
- Credit: Jonathan King
Homes in a Clayhall street have been left devastated by water damage after flash flooding.
Peel Place is among the worst affected neighbourhoods in Redbridge and, as clean-up efforts continue, residents say they are looking at thousands of pounds worth of insurance claims.
Jonathan King, 35, was at Peel Place on Sunday (July 25), visiting the house of his 70-year-old mother.
He has had to take her to his home in Hackney while searching for temporary accommodation, after being told by their insurers that her home is “not liveable”.
Jonathan said he was told that they would be “lucky if it’s done by Christmas” and that there was more than £40,000 worth of damage to the home.
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Like many others on the street, he said that his car was “a write-off”.
Despite the damage and potentially unhealthy conditions, most residents are staying put as they try to fix their homes.
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Lola, a volunteer in the charity sector who did not want her surname included, said much of the contents of the ground floor of her home had been ruined.
She lives there with her husband, four children and her mother.
“I don’t have furniture left, it’s all gone,” she said.
At one point on Sunday, Lola tried and failed to drive out of the neighbourhood.
She explained: “From two o’clock we tried to call – nobody came. No help was coming, I didn't know about the structure (of the house) because it had been six hours with no help."
However, Lola said the floodwater was too high and she and her children were forced to abandon the car as the waters rose to chest level.
“I still don’t know how I got out,” she said, “It was like a horror movie.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said that they received more than 1,000 flood-related calls across the capital in 12 hours, with more than 60 per cent taking place between 3pm and 5pm.
They added: “Control officers introduced batch mobilising to certain incidents, prioritising calls where there was a risk to life and attending other calls as non-emergencies.
“Firefighters endeavour to reach everyone as quickly as possible and attended hundreds of incidents across London, including two significant incidents where they assisted hospital patients and attended to people trapped in cars.”
Among Peel Place residents who have lived on the street for multiple decades, nobody can recall a similar event and many are asking why flooding hit their area so badly.
The council sent a letter to residents on Monday explaining that drains had not been blocked prior to the floods and that debris from front gardens had been swept into drains on Sunday, blocking them and exacerbating the flood.
But some people have greeted this explanation with suspicion.
“I don’t understand how they can make that statement that quickly,” said Jonathan.
Robert Sweiry, a 56-year-old cab driver, said that in his 24 years living on the street there had “never been an issue like this”.
Robert said he had read the council’s letter and that nobody could know the cause until a “thorough investigation.”
He and his wife, Charlotte, 52, added that the council had been helpful in the aftermath and praised the work of the fire service.
Redbridge Council told the Recorder: “Residents in the worst affected areas are rightly concerned about the impact of recent flooding on their homes, which is why we have had officers out on the ground since Sunday evening offering support and clearing up the debris from the streets as part of a multi-agency approach.
“The leader of the council has visited many of those homes that have been worst affected, and written to residents in those areas outlining support available from the council, and how and where to get help.
“We are talking with Thames Water about issues raised with us from residents and householders."