Plague of rats set to swarm 150 London homes flooded by burst water pipe

Plague of rats set to swarm 150 London homes flooded by burst water pipe

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RATS could invade homes in North London after a burst water main flooded streets – filling 150 homes with muddy water.

Water likened to “rapids” gushed through Finsbury Park, with emergency services warning rodents to “flush up” by the tide.

PA:Press Association

Two fire officers run through the water to help people evacuate their homes in North London[/caption]

PA:Press Association

The water was compared to rapids as it swept the roads[/caption]

London News Pictures

One man tries to fight the water off with a bucket and make-shift barricades[/caption]

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville slammed Thames Water, saying their response has “not been good enough” after it took six hours to shut the valve.

The water began spurting from the road at 7.45am on Tuesday and wasn’t shut off until 1.45pm.

A firefighter told the Gazette: “There is a chance rats could be flushed up. If you have had your hands in the water, wash them.”

London Fire Brigade said 12 fire engines and 80 firefighters were called to the scene to help neighbours to evacuate flooded properties.

You work all your life, build up a house – and then it’s just gone in one swipe.


Brian Bicknell

A 600 by 200-metre area was affected by the water – with families left stranded after their home interiors and belongings destroyed.

Resident Brian Bicknell, 74, who was holding his cat in a carrier told the Islington Gazette: “It’s your whole home. You work all your life, build up a house – and then it’s just gone in one swipe.

“I have a heart condition and have had two knee replacements. My wife’s had a stroke [previously]. We have all kinds of serious medication. We have managed to grab some of it but it’s waterlogged.”

He said that all their furniture, cupboards, electrical appliances and beds are completely destroyed by the water.

People were seen evacuating the area with huge hiking rucksacks on their backs, filled with the belongings they could rescue from the water.

One onlooker Lorraine Pearson told the Gazette that the Queen’s Drive was “running like rapids, all swirling water.”

A woman was seen with a baby strapped to her front as she waded through knee-high water.

In recent years Thames Water has spent millions on replacing and strengthening London’s Victorian pipes, but for Mr Glanville, that is not good enough.

He wrote on Twitter: “Some incredible frontline staff and engineers, but resources on the ground have not been adequate.

“While the multiple valves may now be being shut off, there is nowhere near enough water sites in the area.”

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 £1million 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 aging network to reduce the risk of disruption like this into the future.”

PA:Press Association

Engineers managed to close the valve today at 1.45pm[/caption]

PA:Press Association

These gardens are completely waterlogged[/caption]

PA:Press Association

The owners of this house have tried to save as much furniture as they can[/caption]

PA:Press Association

A moped driver makes his way through the water[/caption]

PA:Press Association

A dad carries his son through the water to a dry spot[/caption]

PA:Press Association

The water was up to this man’s knees as he walked to his car[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Animals were rescued from the floods[/caption]

PA:Press Association

The water completely flooded basement flats like this one[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Thames Valley has spent millions to improve crumbling Victorian water pipes below the city[/caption]


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