Housemates spend hours bailing out water to save home during floods

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

Housemates in Camberwell spent three hours shovelling water with buckets to stop their home from being flooded on Sunday.

Torrential rain and thunderstorms wreaked havoc in the capital, flooding roads and Tube stations and leaving shoppers stranded.

Areas from Camberwell to Walthamstow were affected, while nine Tube stations were forced to shut.

Zack Dove, of New Road in Camberwell, told how he and his four housemates had to act fast when flooding hit their home.

The 23-year-old explained how they were forced to create makeshift sandbags to protect the basement level of their home as flood water rushed in and kept rising during the hours-long heavy downpour.

The web developer said: “When it started raining really badly the water really started to build up.

“We were in the kitchen and looked out the window and thought ‘oh crap’.”

The makeshift sandbags

At its worst, the water rose to about a foot high as they scrambled to stop it coming in, Zack said.

He continued: “The road started to fill up as well – we started to panic because if the road overflowed – we would really be screwed.

“We got some buckets and started picking up water and throwing it out on the street.

“We made some makeshift sandbags with dried leaves.”

Zack said passers-by were cheering them on but they initially thought their drain was blocked and that was causing the water rise at such a rate.

He added: “We called the estate agent at about 2pm and they said they’d send someone down. The person didn’t come down until 10.45pm.

“He said ‘it’s nothing to do with your drain, the problem is on the street’.

“I asked what we should do next time as this (shovelling water) doesn’t seem to be the best solution and he basically said there’s nothing we could do.

“There doesn’t seem to be anyone to call about this.”

The house in Camberwell New Road

The housemates are worried about the week ahead as more rain and possible thunderstorms are forecast from tomorrow across London.

Workers down the road at TFC supermarket told how shoppers were trapped in the store from about 2pm – as the water levels were so high. Luckily, the shop was not flooded.

TFC worker Nesrin Kasim said: “It was bad from about 2pm. It was still flooded when I was leaving at 5pm. Customers had to wait for hours.

“It happens a lot. Last year in August it was the same. I’m not sure what we can do.”



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