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Council Leader visits Rainham after floods

Published: Monday, 17 August 2020

The Leader of Havering Council, Councillor Damian White, visited Rainham today (Monday) to ensure that residents are receiving the best possible support as they recover from flooding at the weekend.

clean up after floods in borough
Havering Council's emergency planning and highways teams help resident clear up after flood damage

Councillor White, along with Chief Executive Andrew Blake-Herbert joined the Council’s highways and emergency planning teams, who are continuing to carry out works, including clearing roads, drains and gullies as well as providing whatever support and advice is needed for residents.

Council officers from those teams were immediately on the scene to work with emergency services and offer assistance to residents overnight on Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday morning.

They returned again later on Sunday morning to visit all the properties that were known to be flooded as part of that emergency response.

These visits will be continued throughout the week.

No residents required alternative accommodation in the end but Council officers made sure that if anyone did require this, that they had relatives or friends to go to or were on hand to assist with alternative accommodation as safely as possible around the Covid 19 pandemic.

During the early hours of Sunday, London Fire Brigade pumped out water from a residential care home and other properties in Farm Road, Rainham.

Other areas affected by high water levels in properties and roads included Brook Way, South Hall Drive, Lambs Lane South, Southend Road, Cherry Tree Lane, around South Hornchurch Library and parts of Collier Row.

Today, work to help residents recover from the damage caused by the flooding continued and has included street cleaning crews working in each of the areas.

They will be helping to clear the silt left by the water and will do this supported by mechanical sweepers.

The Council’s grounds maintenance team is assisting with the collection of the bulky items, with Tractor Services on standby.

Last week additional officers had been out clearing gullies and checking on drains in the lead up to the weekend in preparation for the bad weather which was forecast.

However, the sheer volume of rainfall in such a short time was so high that emergency services were needed to pump water out.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“I have been in Rainham today with our Chief Executive Andrew Blake-Herbert, to personally ensure residents are receiving support they need to make a full recovery and see at first-hand what work our teams are doing.

“Our sympathies are with residents and those in Collier Row who also suffered and they can be assured we will be doing everything we can to support them in the recovery from the effects of flooding.

“We did everything we could to prepare ahead of the weather that was forecast for the weekend, including making sure gullies and drains were clear.

“This was an unprecedented amount of rain in a short space of time and with the best will in the world, no amount of preparation work could have prevented the flooding.

“We will continue to do what is needed to make sure residents get all the help they need.

“I would also like to thank our services and the emergency services who have been working non-stop.”

Councillor White confirmed he will also be writing to the Government calling on the Secretary of State to take enforcement action against the owners of the publicly owned plots of land, such as Network Rail, who are not maintaining the drainage and sewage systems.