Flooding in W9 again – Whats going on?
On the afternoon of the 12th of July, my family house was affected by the flash flooding at basement level and in the rear garden. This was not meant to happen after the £17.5 million investment in Maida Hill, Maida Vale and Little Venice in 2014/15.
The old sewers did not have the capacity to transfer additional flows brought about by increased permeable areas and changes in climate. This resulted in extensive flooding to properties in the surrounding urban areas during severe storm events. Due to the sheer density of the urban area and the limited available space to build, part of the solution required flows to drop 13 metres into a tunnel and storage facility.
So questions need to be asked about effectiveness of the Maida Vale Flood Alleviation Scheme built at great expense in 2014/15 after successful lobbying by @MaidaFloodAction campaign of 200 odd properties in the neighbourhood when it was not able to cope with a months rain in half an hour last Monday!
A major shaft was dig on the corner of Formosa St and Shirland Rd,W9 to take flood waters away to under the canal to a storage facility at Westbourne Garden, yet it was still not able to cope with the down pour we had this week.
After all we have been paying for these facilities via increased water bills, as the works at the time even had to be approved by the regulator at the time. And the map clearing shows the properties that should be affected by this improvement yet many properties along Warwick Avenue, Formosa St had been flooded in the basement areas again last Monday. In fact my parental house was flooded even worse than ever before.
More generally we need to ask ourselves how often we can now expect such flash rain falls as well as whether the infrastructure can handle these occurrences whether by changes in the climate and the urban environment. As we can see from events in Belgium and Germany, floods caused by heavy rains have left more than 30 deaths ( up to a 1,000 missing) and destroyed many buildings as well.
Finally when l was on the London Assembly under my chairmanship we did some work on flooding issues across the whole of London on future trends in flood risk for Londoners and the risk to 24,000 homes in London identified by the Environment Agency.
This very local issue clearly shows the threat of flooding for Londoners particularly in W9 has not gone away and needs addressing again.