Heavy rain turned the streets of London into raging streams. Basement, cars, toilets, shops – the underwater city. Experts fear they may have found the cause. Not just climate change.
The UK was hit by torrential rain on Monday that inundated several streets and homes. British media reported that more than seven centimeters of rain was supposed to fall in the British capital, London, within 90 minutes.
Sudden rain flooded several streets and houses. Cellars were flooded, especially in western parts of London, and some drivers had to leave their cars on streets that turned into flowing streams. Portobello Road in Notting Hill, popular with tourists, looked like a raging river.
‘Super basement’ as a possible cause
For the area south of Westminster County, authorities have declared a yellow danger level. Many homes and shops were inundated, toilets overflowed, and roofs collapsed in isolated cases, reports the Daily Mail.
Flood protection specialist Mary Donau hypothesizes that climate change and accompanying harsh weather conditions are the cause of these extreme floods. Donau told the Daily Mail that so-called “super basements” may also favor flooding. They will be built especially in the wealthier neighborhoods to make the most of the land.
Rainwater can no longer properly return to the land and thus to the groundwater. “North Kensington is a prime example of land that would have absorbed water that is now used for super vaults,” Dunau says. More rain is also expected in the London area on Tuesday.
The Queen’s guitarist complains of flood damage
Notable Londoners were also victims of the floods: the home of Queen’s guitarist Brian May was damaged by the floods. The 73-year-old showed the aftermath of the storm at his Kensington-area home on Instagram on Tuesday.
“The sewage inundated the entire ground floor and covered carpets, rugs and all kinds of valuables (to us) with stinky mud,” May wrote. “It’s disgusting and actually very heartbreaking. It’s as if we’ve been ambushed, defiled.” Several memorabilia from his wife, Anita Dobson (72), were destroyed, as well as photo albums from his childhood.
He made the neighbors and the administration of the district jointly responsible. In recent years, contrary to expert advice, many cellars in the area have been expanded, now disrupting drainage. The county council rejected the allegations.