Fierce Storm Inundates London, Causing Flash Flooding

LONDON — The rain appeared typical sufficient in a nation recognized for its soggy climate. But a relentless storm on Monday become flash flooding in southern England, bringing a part of the capital to a standstill.

The downpour left surging water spilling into the streets of London, flowing via Underground stations, disrupting public transportation and forcing some residents to evacuate their houses. The authorities issued flood warnings for a number of neighborhoods and the London Fire Brigade mentioned it obtained greater than 1,000 calls associated to flooding within the capital’s west on Monday, which trapped folks in vehicles and broken homes and industrial buildings.

Footage of the storm’s aftermath confirmed vehicles submerged over their wheels and folks huddled underneath awnings on Portobello Road. Pubs provided meals and sizzling drinks to these taking shelter.

Much of the flooding had subsided by Tuesday, after a month’s price of common rain in a single day, however results remained. About 120 residents have been put in emergency housing in a single day, native authorities for the borough of Kensington and Chelsea mentioned, including that that they had dispatched drainage groups, plumbers and electricians to assist restore public housing items within the space.

A Transport for London spokesman mentioned in a press release that the numerous flooding in several areas throughout the capital had an affect on companies throughout the transport community, including that it was working to attenuate this.

Outside the capital, the downpour additionally unfold throughout the south of England, flooding rail strains within the metropolis of Southhampton.

Though particular person climate incidents are troublesome to hyperlink on to local weather change, coverage analysts have mentioned that local weather change has elevated the depth of rainfall in London. The capital is especially susceptible to flooding, given a lot of the town is constructed on the River Thames floodplain. A movable flood barrier throughout the river, greater than 1,700 toes huge, has been in place since 1982.

Analysts mentioned the flooding was an indication that the town wanted to hasten diversifications to the consequences of local weather change, significantly given warmth wave is predicted in England later this month.

“We haven’t seen something on that scale yesterday for a while,” mentioned Bob Ward, deputy chair of London Climate Change Partnership, which makes a speciality of adaptation and resilience to excessive climate, including the town was conscious that floor flooding was rising threat.

The metropolis is constructing a brand new “Super Sewer,” a 15-mile tunnel underneath the Thames to hold away sewage and waste water and stop flooding. But its drainage system must be upgraded to deal with larger volumes of rainfall, with elements relationship to the Victorian period, Mr. Ward mentioned.

“It simply wasn’t built with climate change in mind,” he added.

According to a 2019 report, about 37,000 houses are at excessive or medium threat of tidal or river flooding in London, and 250,000 companies and houses might be liable to shedding entry to electrical energy, fuel and different companies for as much as two weeks.

And with meteorologists predicting a warmth wave later this month, Mr. Ward mentioned buildings liable to trapping warmth additionally wanted to be upgraded with higher air flow to save lots of lives this 12 months, pointing to 2,500 extra deaths that occurred throughout warmth waves final 12 months.

“It’s hard to know what a normal summer is anymore,” he mentioned.