IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Thames Water slammed after another major burst water main

'I'm stuck outside with my cats and all my possessions probably being soaked and ruined as we speak'

08 October, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

THAMES Water was slammed today by furious residents and politicians after a burst water main flooded about 150 homes around Finsbury Park.

A large scale rescue operation was launched with 80 fire-fighters, dozens of police officers and council workers wading through the deluge this morning (Tuesday).

Water pressure was low across the borough and cut out entirely in scores of homes.

Izzy Lim, a veterinary Patient Care Assistant (PCA) at Medivet, was on her way to work when she received a call from neighbours saying that water was cascading down Queen’s Drive, off Seven Sisters Road.

Her three cats were stuck in the basement flat.

She said: “I think the cats are a bit traumatised. They’re definitely soggy. The fire-fighters took my keys and went to get them.

“Now I don’t really know what to do. I’m stuck outside with my cats and all my possessions probably being soaked and ruined as we speak. It’s really sad to think about it.”

She added: “The fire-fighters took a video of my flat. It was like a swimming pool in there. But looking at the road it doesn’t surprise me, it’s like a river out here.”

The burst was on a 36-inch wide main at around 8am. Between 100 and 150 homes were damaged, a Thames Water spokesman said.

He admitted that it was a “clear sign” that they need to “keep investing” in their “ageing and sometimes fragile network.”

Tom Kibasi, who chairs the Institute for Public Policy Research, said: “Thames Water has made £300 million in profits over the past 2 years while its infrastructure crumbles. It’s time for change.”

More than 100 homes and businesses were destroyed in 2016 when a major pipe burst in Upper Street just before Christmas.

Environment chief cllr Claudia Webbe said: “Islington is again significantly impacted by a sudden burst water main causing unacceptable disruption with no or low water. Schools have closed and homes flooded. Some services are now restored. But enough is enough, it’s time to renationalise.”

The mayor of Hackney said that Thames Water’s response had not been good enough.

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

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