Lewisham Council faces a bill running into the hundreds of thousands of pounds in the wake of the weekend’s flooding evening, which led to a coach of tourists being trapped in a sinkhole.
Crumbling Victorian infrastructure is thought to be behind Saturday evening’s incident, after an ancient cast iron pipe burst causing major flooding, transforming Lee High Road into a lake.
Insurance loss assessor Lennie Goodman of Oakleafe Claims said many businesses in the area had lost stock and that the disruption could lead to future financial losses: “What we have to remember when assessing these things is that it’s not the damage we can see now: it’s the damage we see later.”
Goodman estimated that the damage to property would run into tens of thousands of pounds while and costs to repair the water main and road will run into the hundreds of thousands.
He added: “Thames Water have one of these every week in London, the infrastructure is in a bad shape.”
Following the floods, dozens of local residents were evacuated from the area into temporary shelters since their homes were unsafe.
The flooding left over 3,000 homes without water. Forty French tourists also had to be rescued from the coach that was swallowed by a sinkhole on the same road.
A Thames Water spokesman said: “We’re very sorry to customers in SE3 experiencing problems with their water supply as a result of our burst water pipe on Lee High Road. We have a large team on site working hard to get things back to normal for those affected and we hope to have supplies restored by the end of the day.”
“We’re arranging for bottled water to be brought to the area and details of collection points will be available on our website shortly. We’ve also contacted vulnerable customers. We’ll begin the repair to the pipe as soon as we can.”
Lee High road remains closed, which has led to major disruption on commuter routes and local businesses in the area.
If you’re having water quality issues in the wake of the incident phone Thames Water on 0800 316 9800. Work to repair the road is ongoing and Transport for London are issuing updates on their website