Monday, June 12th, 2017
Torrential rain leads to blocked drains and flooding in Newham
The London drainage network was unable to cope with recent torrential downpours, causing headaches for residents, businesses and commuters.
British summertime is here, but rather than warm, sunny days, June has thus far been marked by grey skies and torrential rain. And, once again, London’s drains and waterways have proven themselves unable to cope with the deluge of water.
At the beginning of the month, a large number of streets in the borough of Newham were flooded following an hour-long downpour, causing misery and disruption for businesses, residents and commuters in the area.
As well as making several roads virtually impassable, the waters also affected rail commuters; several stations, including Manor Park, experienced flooding, and Greater Anglia advised anyone using the Shenfield to Liverpool Street line to travel by an alternative route.
Residential and commercial properties were also damaged by the flood waters, with Canning Town and The Gate library closing early due to flooding, and reported flooding of a basement flat in Stratford.
Residents and experts appeared to place the blame for the flooding firmly on the area’s drainage systems. Lisa Hudson, a Canning Town resident said, “Last year the council attended immediately to the drains and the water dispersed almost immediately. Clearly there are drainage issues that have not been rectified since the previous floods.”
A spokesman for Newham Council added, “Flooding from heavy rain does not happen a lot in Newham but some areas are at a higher risk because of their geography and drainage.”
London flood risks
There are a number of reasons why the London drainage network is so susceptible to flooding.
One significant, but little-known risk factor is London’s ‘lost rivers’. In years gone by, the city was home