Devastating River Roding flood of 2000 remembered as Redbridge stretch remains on alert

Cars manouvere through water-filled roads following the 2000 floood

Cars manouvere through water-filled roads following the 2000 floood - Credit: Archant

Memories of a devastating flood which triggered 40 evacuations across Redbridge and affected hundreds of homes have been reawakened by the recent stormy weather.

Submerged gardens in Chigwell Road after the River Roding burst its banks in October 2000

Submerged gardens in Chigwell Road after the River Roding burst its banks in October 2000 - Credit: Archant

In the light of the warnings given about the River Roding on Friday and just before Christmas, residents have been remembering the effect of the river bursting its banks in October 2000.

The River Roding flood in 2000 caused widespread disruption

The River Roding flood in 2000 caused widespread disruption - Credit: Archant

Maria Johnson, 47, of Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, was confined to her house for a few days by the inundation.

She said: “It was quite a shocking thing to happen. Luckily, the water didn’t go into my home, but it was still very worrying.

“The road was flooded and our gardens, which are much lower than the houses, were completely submerged.


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“It was concerning, particularly as there was a chance it would rise even further and that would have been even worse.”

Marion Kelly, of Spencer Road, Seven Kings, also experienced the aftermath of the flood, which has prompted the Environment Agency to investigate ways to prevent any repetition ever since.

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She said: “I remember the road looked like a river. I had to take my car quickly, as in a very short period of time the water level had risen to the level of the bottom of my car doors. Any longer and I would not been able to open the car!”

It was not only residents who had deal with the flooding but also the council workers called out to try to mitigate the damage.

Danny O’Brien, who lives in Seven Kings, was one such person, through his job in the council’s cleansing department.

He said: “We went out with sandbags, but, sadly, we were too late to be of any help, to be honest. We actually arrived before it flooded, but it was not long before we ourselves had to leave as the water came pretty quick.

“But with not enough sandbags, it was not a great help to locals and many covered their front doors but forgot the air vents which were on ground level.

“Damage after the flooding took weeks to clear and I believe the council did some improvements to the river afterwards, but it seems that this latest storm has proven that, sadly, not enough was done.”

Cllr Ian Bond, deputy council leader and ward councillor for Roding, expressed hope that a repeat of the 2000 flooding is not on the cards.“It has been a worrying time for residents,” he said. “Obviously, it is the second Christmas running that many people had to worry about flooding during the holiday period, so it was not a very happy time for them with worrying that they might have to move out of their houses.

“The reason homes were flooded in 2000 was not because the river overflowed, but because the water running off the gardens and roads couldn’t run back into the river.”

Cllr Bond added: “The flooding in the river is much less than many other rivers, but if there is a flood, it affects an awful lot of families and businesses.”

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