UPDATE: Glebe Way reopened after flooding in Courtfield Rise, West Wickham

This Is Local London: Farrah Hawkes, aged 9, sitting in her flooded garden in Courtfield Rise Farrah Hawkes, aged 9, sitting in her flooded garden in Courtfield Rise

GLEBE Way, West Wickham, reopened over the weekend after closing while fire fighters carried out an emergency operation to tackle nearby flooding.

The road was closed for several days as water seeping into people's basements in Courtfield Rise was removed using high pressure pumping equipment.

An electrical substation, thought to power the homes of thousands of people, also came under threat.

An emergency situation is expected to remain for a number of weeks.

This Is Local London:

Melanie Weston, of Courtfield Rise, told News Shopper flooding started when a culvert, located behind the houses in her road, burst last Friday.

The 45-year-old said: "The problem is the culvert was never cleaned - there was a build up of silts and roots and nothing was ever done about it.

"It's got worse and worse and worse.

"It's frustrating - you'd think something would have been done sooner especially as there is a substation there.

"The flooding spread across five gardens. Then the groundwater at Sparrows Den made the situation worse.

"At its worst, there was about three feet of water in the garden and I had a foot and a half in my basement.

"In a neighbour's house water was touching their floor boards and coming up through the house."

 

This Is Local London:

Spencer Hawkes, 47, also of Courtfield Rise, added: "The culvert has been a problem we have been trying to address for some time, but that and the ground water problems caused a perfect storm.

"One night I spent checking the water levels every 15 minutes.

"There is a sense of fear - as a father and husband you have a sense of responsibility to protect your family.

"When you have water approaching the door you feel useless. It was scary.

"The response from the Environment Agency and Bromley Council has been swift, we have had workers in our back garden, wading through water to retrieve bicycles.

"They really have gone above and beyond."

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "Maintenance and clearance of culverts are the responsibility of the landowner. 

"However, the Environment Agency have carried out emergency works to the culvert to alleviate flooding to the area so that flood risk to the local community was reduced."

This Is Local London:

Deputy leader of Bromley Council Colin Smith said: "Everyone continues to do whatever they can to support residents and prevent flooding, including protecting the critical electricity substation in Courtfield Rise.

"Quite why that was ever built where it was in the first place is a separate question for another day. 

"With groundwater levels continuing at record levels as they are, it really does remain a case of all hands to the pump both metaphorically and physically though, and it is feared that this could remain the situation for weeks to come yet. 

"Realistically there remains a limit to what the emergency services can do and while they have responded magnificently to date, the ongoing emergency situation still threatens significant challenges for the foreseeable future."

Comments (4)

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11:15am Thu 20 Feb 14

Spencer H says...

A huge thank you to the Environment Agency, Fire Brigade, Police, UK Power Networks and London Borough of Bromley staff as they continue to protect our properties and electricity supply from groundwater flooding in West Wickham. They have been permanently on site for the past few days and are working very hard. Also good to see Bob Stewart MP down here this morning. It's especially encouraging to see all agencies working together so very well. Keep up your efforts and we'll keep on supplying the tea! Knowing that you folks are out there helps us sleep soundly. Thank you!
A huge thank you to the Environment Agency, Fire Brigade, Police, UK Power Networks and London Borough of Bromley staff as they continue to protect our properties and electricity supply from groundwater flooding in West Wickham. They have been permanently on site for the past few days and are working very hard. Also good to see Bob Stewart MP down here this morning. It's especially encouraging to see all agencies working together so very well. Keep up your efforts and we'll keep on supplying the tea! Knowing that you folks are out there helps us sleep soundly. Thank you! Spencer H
  • Score: 16

12:24pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Techvedic says...

Strange world - on the one side, its celebrating Brit Awards, and flooding social media with satirical comments, and on the other people are struggling to survive. (Editor, Techvedic)
Strange world - on the one side, its celebrating Brit Awards, and flooding social media with satirical comments, and on the other people are struggling to survive. (Editor, Techvedic) Techvedic
  • Score: 0

1:44am Fri 21 Feb 14

Councillor Nicholas Bennett says...

Can I echo Spencer H's comments? Cllr Colin Smith and I visited many of the effected residents on Wednesday and every effort is being made to tackle this problem. The Environment Agency, Fire Brigade, National Power, the Council and the local police team have all worked together. The sub station was within inches of being flooded and would have blacked out thousands of homes. Although the problem has been rising groundwater the culverts carrying the river need repair and I am pleased as one of the ward councillors for West Wickham that the Environment Agency is tackling this in the next few days.
Can I echo Spencer H's comments? Cllr Colin Smith and I visited many of the effected residents on Wednesday and every effort is being made to tackle this problem. The Environment Agency, Fire Brigade, National Power, the Council and the local police team have all worked together. The sub station was within inches of being flooded and would have blacked out thousands of homes. Although the problem has been rising groundwater the culverts carrying the river need repair and I am pleased as one of the ward councillors for West Wickham that the Environment Agency is tackling this in the next few days. Councillor Nicholas Bennett
  • Score: 1

7:32pm Fri 21 Feb 14

cherithporter says...

I travelled to and from there today. What chaos! Roads closed. Fire engines there etc.
I travelled to and from there today. What chaos! Roads closed. Fire engines there etc. cherithporter
  • Score: -5

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