Thames Water: Four foot flood in Islington as firefighters tackle Hornsey Road burst water main
Firefighters are tackling flooding in Hornsey Road, Islington, while multiple roads have been closed and people are being urged to avoid the area.
Two adults and two children were helped to safety after roads in Islington were left four foot under water due to a burst Thames Water main.
Firefighters are tackling flooding in Hornsey Road, between Holloway Road and Finsbury Park, while multiple roads have been closed and people are being urged to avoid the area.
Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters have been called to flooding after a 36-inch water main burst and caused flooding up to around four feet.
Photos and videos of the scene show water pouring across the roads with vehicles struggling to pass.
Station commander Matt Brown, who is at the scene, said: "Flood water is affecting Hornsey Road, Tollington Road and a leisure centre.
"There are multiple road closures in place whilst crews work to make the scene safe. People are urged to avoid the area.
"Firefighters are using flood barriers to divert water. If you are affected by flood water, if possible (and without putting yourself at risk) move to a higher level."
A fire brigade spokesperson said: “We have taken 12 calls to the incident.
“Firefighters were called at 7.01am. Fire crews from Holloway, Islington, Kentish Town, Stoke Newington and surrounding fire stations are at the scene.”
The LFB said firefighters were starting to leave the scene, however road closures would be in place for some time while repairs are carried out.
Islington Borough Council asked people to avoid the area due to several road closures.
A spokesperson said: “Please avoid the Hornsey Road area, where several roads are closed as the London Fire Brigade and the Met Police deal with flooding from a burst water main.
“We are working with emergency services at the scene.”
They added: “We’re aware that Thames Water are working hard to tackle the water main burst on Hornsey Road.
“There is low or no water pressure affecting addresses in N1, N4, N5 and N7. Our staff are on-site at the Harvist estate to assist residents. Please avoid the Hornsey Road area. If you need help or assistance because of the water main burst, please speak with council staff on the scene.”
And BBC Radio London Travel warned: “Hornsey Road in Holloway is also closed between Tollington Road and Seven Sisters Road due to flooding caused by the burst water main.
“Buses 4, 29, 91, 153, 253, 254 and 259 are diverting.”
Thames Water has posted a statement on its website.
A spokesperson said: “We’re on our way. Thanks for letting us know about low water pressure and no water in N1, N4, N5, N7, N10 and N16.
“Our specialist engineers are on their way to investigate reports of a burst water main, and we will be doing everything we can to get things up and running as quickly as possible.
“We’re really sorry if this has disrupted your day. We’ll be posting here when we have more news, so check back for the latest information.”
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said water companies should be brought back under public ownership after a mains pipe burst.
Visiting the scene of the flood with his family, Mr Corbyn said Thames Water needed to invest more in its infrastructure to stop pipes bursting in future.
He added: “It’s not the first time it has gone. Goodness knows how any times this road has been dug up for pipe repairs.
“Thames Water are not investing enough in their infrastructure, they do not want to invest the money.
“The lesson has got to be proper maintenance of the system. Thames Water have taken enough profit out.
“The amount of water wasted each year will fill Loch Ness. I think it’s time we gave up on privatisation and brought it back under public control. They are not responsible, the water companies.”
He also said Islington Council have set up a rescue centre in a nearby church offering refreshments to affected residents.
The former Labour leader added: “What I would say is full marks to London Fire Brigade and Islington Council for getting down here so quickly and preventing a lot of houses being flooded. The response has been fantastic.
“The workers from Thames Water are very good, it’s the company that’s the problem.”
The receding waters left dried mud caked onto the street and while local pub the Tollington was spared because of a raised terrace, a café further down Hornsey Road was less fortunate.
Tables and chairs and soggy books were stacked and upturned in café Broccoli while muddy water lay stagnant on the wooden floor.
Charlie, the café’s owner, said: “I saw the flood come through, coming slowly like a miniature tsunami.
“I saw vehicles stop in the middle of the road.
“I had two colleagues with me, we tried to push the water but we realised it was an endless battle until the water started coming in the shop.
He said the café had only opened two months before the pandemic and he now feels he will have to close.
“It’s terrible, it requires a new shop. I just don’t see us serving food for a while,” he revealed.
“It has destroyed my business, it has done worse than the pandemic. We survived that, didn’t make a lot of money.
“I feel like I need to rebuild the whole place.”