Leader statement - Recent incidents of localised flooding
Heavy rainfall led to localised flooding in Haringey on Sunday (25 July 2021), largely in the N8 and N15 areas of our borough.
It's the second time this month substantial showers have resulted in surplus stormwater here - and across other parts of London too - following a similar weather event on Monday 12 July 2021.
The Leader of Haringey Council, Cllr Peray Ahmet, said:
For the second time in as many weeks, Haringey has been impacted by flooding and we sympathise with all those affected.
This is further evidence – if it were needed – that the Climate Emergency is a reality. This means that these two flooding events are unlikely to be the only ones that we will experience here in our borough.
It also serves as a reminder that London’s Victorian sewer system was not designed, or built, to deal with the volume of water that it has been asked to cope with during these weather events.
A fortnight ago, I went out to meet with local business owners and school heads whose properties had experienced damage from the flood waters. I heard about the impacts and saw the damage for myself first-hand.
Following the first flooding incident, our Highways team has been working hard cleaning and repairing affected areas.
In view of the weather warnings for Sunday (25 July 2021), key locations that experienced localised flooding during the previous extreme weather event, such as Park Road and Rectory Gardens, were visited on Saturday and Sunday to ensure gullies would drain away stormwater when rain was falling.
Our contractor was called out throughout the weekend and, together with members of our Highways team, worked past midnight responding to reports of localised flooding in the N8 and N15 areas of the borough.
In addition, our staff have worked hard this weekend and today (Monday 26 July 2021) to provide help and support to those local businesses and Haringey residents affected, including undertaking welfare checks on vulnerable residents to make sure they are okay.
We’ve made it easier for our residents to contact us to let us know when there are problems too, by improving the menu options for our out-of-hours contact centre.
Twice now, we have witnessed extreme rainfall and local sewers – which our road gullies drain into – simply couldn’t cope with the volume of water.
That said, we will of course look to see if there’s more we – as a council – need to do.
This is something we take extremely seriously. We will continue to work hard to ensure gullies and drains are clear.
We’re also investing in ‘sustainable drainage systems’ which reduce the amount of water that needs to flow into London’s Victorian sewer system by diverting it to green spaces and away from properties.
We will want to work with our residents as well to increase community resilience to future flooding events, and will seek to ensure that they have the information they need to take action to help protect themselves and their homes.
In the longer term, we will be working closely with partners that have an important role to play in reducing local flood risk, including the Environment Agency and Thames Water.
We will be making the case to central government too that we – in common with other local authorities – need sufficient resources to reduce flood risk and manage this critical area of work.
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