Woodford Green and Forest Gate residents criticise councils over flooding

The basement of Muhammad Salim Akhtar's home in Woodford Green filled with flood water.

The basement of Muhammad Salim Akhtar's home in Woodford Green filled with flood water. - Credit: Muhammad Salim Akhtar

Residents in Woodford Green and Forest Gate affected by flooding have blamed councils over the maintenance of drainage.

Heavy rain on Sunday, July 25 caused flash floods across east London with Redbridge and Newham among the worst affected areas.

Fatima Yusuf, 35, - also known as The Bakeress - runs a bakery from her house in Claremont Road, Forest Gate.

She claims that a lack of gutter maintenance contributed to flooding in her road.

Fatima alleges that Newham Council did not clear up cement from gutters that came from work a a nearby house a few years ago.

“Every year, we end up getting a flood when there’s heavy rain, but this was the worst. I’ve never seen it like this.”

A flooded road in Forest Gate.

A flooded road in Forest Gate. - Credit: Fatima Yusuf

A council spokesperson said: “We have a regular routine of drain and gutter cleaning to keep drains clean but Newham, like many parts of London, has a Victorian sewage infrastructure that could not cope with the sheer intensity of the downpour.

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“Following the flooding incidents, our cleansing team have revisited the roads affected and swept any debris left behind.

"We are double-checking all the areas that suffered flooding to ensure all the drains and gutters are clear.

"We are also working with Thames Water to identify and carry out any measures necessary."

The spokesperson added that the council will be pushing government for longer term solutions to flooding.

Woodford Green resident Muhammad Salim Akhtar, 63, described water gushing into his front and back garden.

“The basement was filling up with water almost up to six feet and the fridge was floating. We tried to move some stuff upstairs.”

Muhammad believes the council is at fault and thinks it should regularly clean the drainage system.

Redbridge Council said it has been offering help and support to those affected as part of a ‘multi-agency approach’ since Sunday.

A spokesperson said: “The leader of the council has visited many of those homes that have been worst affected and written to residents in those areas outlining support available from the council, and how and where to get help.

“We are talking with Thames Water about issues raised with us from residents and householders.”