Serious risks of flooding in basement properties warns Mayor of London

The Mayor of London has written to 45,000 residents of basement properties in the capital to warn they are at risk of extreme flooding as the effects of the climate crisis take hold.

Sadiq Khan is trying to raise awareness of the issue to help Londoners prepare for future floods, after thousands of homes and businesses were damaged in July last year.

Parts of the city had over a month’s rainfall within just two hours, leaving many citizens temporarily homeless, leading to the closure or partial closure of 30 Underground stations and the evacuation of schools and hospitals.

Analysis from City Hall has revealed that flooding will only get worse if no action is taken to lessen carbon emissions, affecting 25% of London’s rail stations, one in five schools, half of the city hospitals and hundreds of thousands homes and workplaces.

cars parked on parking lot near trees during daytime

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘The climate emergency is the biggest global threat we face today. The serious flooding in London last year shows that the climate crisis is no longer a distant problem, but one that is increasingly reaching our doorsteps. As Mayor, I’m determined to build a better London for everyone – ensuring we are taking action now to make our city more resilient to the impacts of climate change and making London a global leader in reducing carbon emissions. 

‘While the likelihood of flooding remains low for most basement properties, I’m doing all I can to ensure that the people most at risk know what to do in the event of a flash flood. This leaflet is designed to help people prepare for flash floods, which we expect to happen more frequently in our city. Be prepared – it could help to save lives.’ 

Leaflets offering practical advice to residents on how to prepare and deal with a flood will be distributed to basement properties.

Citizens will be advised to sign up to weather alert emails from the Met Office, check drains around the home are clear and ensure they can turn off the water, gas and electricity.

They will also be told to prepare an emergency ‘flood kit’ in the event of an evacuation, containing warm clothes, phone chargers, vital medications and important documents like proof of insurance. 

A group including the London Fire Brigade, London councils, TfL, water companies and the Environment Agency are also working on building an informed response to extreme weather events in London.

Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante


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