Residents evacuated in Hackney after burst water main floods homes

Flooded home Pic: David Nathan

Hundreds of residents were hit by flooding a metre deep on Tuesday after a water mains pipe burst at 8am on Tuesday in Hackney.

Over 150 people were evacuated from their homes on Queen’s Drive and led to safety by the London Fire Brigade, with Hackney Council providing emergency accommodation.

Up to 250 properties with basements, including shops were believed to have been affected, and residents from eight properties were rehoused.

One local resident said: “My flat is absolutely ruined, its flooded up to my knees. I was at work this morning when I heard from one of my Whatsapp group chats that there was a problem.

“I was told that my side of the road was safe and that the opposite side of the road was affected but thought that I better go home and check. I’m glad I did because my basement was flooded.

I”’d usually not have come home till around 9/10 o’clock after work tonight if I hadn’t have known. Thames water have begun pumping the water out of the basement. But I doubt I can stay in my flat tonight I’ll have to stay with a friend.

“It has been a pretty scary experience but worst things happen to people, just been a total impractical nightmare.”

Emergency services were on site providing bottled water to properties as more than 200 Residents in five different post codes including, N1, N4, N5, N7 and N19 have experienced low water pressure or temporarily lost supply since the burst. Parkwood Primary school, on Queen’s Drive, was also closed due to the water being turned off.

A Thames Water spokesman said: “We’re really sorry to any customers affected by our burst main this morning. 

“Our top priority now, having stopped the water escaping and restored supplies back to normal is to support those impacted by the flooding. We have around 100 company representatives in the area as well as a community hub set-up to take care of all their needs and handle all compensation claims.

“We’re spending over £1m a day on our vast underground network to help reduce leaks, which often lead to these bursts, and working tirelessly to improve our customer service. We’re also exploring all modern technology and techniques to gain tighter control of our ageing network to reduce the risk of disruption like this into the future.” 

In March 2019, Thames Water assured the council and residents that they were equipped and well prepared to tackle serious cases of floods after receiving a number of complaints from a previous flooding caused by a burst main in Lea Bridge.

Thames Water are undertaking a full investigation into the burst pipe on Queens Drive to find the cause of the flood. They said that today is “a clear reminder that we need to keep investing in our ageing and sometimes fragile network, with many of our 10,000 miles of pipes in London well over 100 years old.” 

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