‘It’s a tragedy’: Londoners count the cost after a month of rain in 90 minutes 1/26Flash flooding: July 2021
ondoners were mopping up and counting the cost on Tuesday after flash floods caused chaos and left a trail of destruction across the city.
Flood waters poured through the streets and seeped into homes, shops and restaurants on Notting Hill’s world-famous Portobello Market as a month’s rain hit the capital in just 90 minutes on Monday evening.
Marion Gettleson, 75, whose basement flat on Portobello Road was under four feet of water, said: “My property has been completely destroyed. Everything will have to be replaced - it’s a tragedy.
“I didn’t even know it was raining and then I heard my toilet gurgling. Suddenly sewage started spitting out it was horrendous.
“Outside the front door there were waves of water lashing. My things are floating around. I have lost lots of items with sentimental value. It will cost thousands and thousands.”
ondon Fire Brigade received 1,000 calls and rescue teams evacuated properties amid fears of collapsing ceilings.
Near Portobello Market, the Portobello Star pub was also flooded with water running onto the premises and then into the basement.
Staff member Jason Francis, forced to clear up on Tuesday, said: “It’s unbelievable the amount of damage that has been done in just one hour.
“After being closed in the pandemic, things were just starting to get back into swing and now we have this blow.”
Meanwhile nearby Italian restaurant Ci Tua! Osteria Romana, which only opened a couple of months ago, was completely flooded.
A staff member said: “It’s a tragedy. The kitchen downstairs is full of water.”
Jean Christophe Puget, 37, who owns French bakery Maison Puget, will have to replace a £50,000 oven destroyed by water.
He said: “I also have no electricity now, so all my stock is lost.
“The amount of water was incredible. I put a table in the road to stop the traffic coming down Portobello Road.”
Bruno Pires, owner of the eggslut gourmet cafe on Portobello Road, said: “It’s a terrible blow.
“The water in the basement was up to my chest. The fridges were floating.”
Flash flooding: July 2021
Across west ondon, digital marketing lead Camilla Mary-Rose wrote on Twitter: “Awful scenes at Maida Vale, many families at lost a lot and so much heartbreak in such a short space of time.”
Near the Westfield ondon shopping centre in White City, cars were marooned in water up to their engines as West Cross Route turned into a river.
A barefooted man was seen there wading through the deluge and hurdling the central reservation after abandoning his submerged Mercedes.
ondon Fire Brigade warned: “Please only call us if there is a genuine emergency.
“We’re asking people not to walk through or drive through the flood water. Flood water can be contaminated and vehicles can become unstable.
“We’re also asking people to look out for their neighbours and look out for weather warnings in their area.”
Euston Station lines had to be shut down after the intense downpour, with people unable to travel in or out of the capital.
In St John’s Wood, one homeowner was left shocked as water began to splurge out of their overflowing toilet through their property.