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Flood information and help

Please read our advice below which we will keep updated.

Published: 12 July 2021

Last updated: 13 October 2021

Following severe flooding on Monday 12 July 2021, Sunday July 25 2021, and Monday 5 October 2021, Westminster City Council is here to help all those affected.

We understand you may feel anxious and upset by this incident and we are ready to help you, with advice and support available for those who need it.

Flooding following heavy rainfall on Tuesday 5 October

Please read the advice and information below. We will keep this page updated as the situation progresses.

Following heavy rainfall in the early morning of Tuesday 5 October, surface water flooding occurred in the Knightsbridge area. We are working closely with the London Fire Brigade, Transport for London and other partners to manage the situation and ensure the safety of all residents and businesses.

There has also been some flooding to properties in Old Queen Street that we are currently investigating.

We are also aware of some surface water flooding in Bourne Terrace, W2 and Oak Tree and Abbey Road, NW8.

If you need help or support, please call our contact centre on 0207 641 6000 and state that you are affected by the flooding, and staff will then be able to help you access any support you may need.

Immediate support

Staff from Veolia, working on our behalf, have visited three times and cleared the debris and mud in Knightsbridge and the surrounding area. Our City Inspectors were in the area until 6pm, surveying the area to make sure all flooded premises are accounted for. London Fire Brigade were on site and pumped water from all affected premises.

TfL cleaners cleared drains on both sides of the affected road in Knightsbridge.

Staff from FM Conway, working on our behalf, inspected and cleared drains around Bourne Terrace and are working through other reports of surface water flooding.

Insurance

If you have insurance in place, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report any damage. Before throwing anything away, speak to your insurance company, and make sure you take photographs of any damage in line with your insurance company’s policies.

Disposing of waste

If you have furniture or other items affected by the flood that you wish to dispose of, our waste teams will be coming round to pick these up. Please make sure you identify anything that is not for waste collection so that these don’t get collected by mistake.

We are unable to clear floorboards, plasterboard, rubble sacks and similar ‘builders waste’ as these require separate disposal from ‘household waste’ items.

Water supply

If you have problems with your water supply, contact Thames Water on 0800 316 9800.

Getting support

You can call the council’s contact centre on 020 7641 6000 and state that you are affected by the flooding. Our staff will then be able to help you access the support you may need. Council teams can also advise on how to access insurance claims and can help follow-up with housing associations.

If you have adult social care or children’s social care needs, our teams should have already been in contact, but if they have not, please contact the council’s contact centre on 0207 641 6000 for support.

Advice for businesses

If you require support, please call the council’s contact centre on 020 7641 6000 and state that you are affected by the flooding. You can also contact the Business Unit for assistance by emailing [email protected] or by calling 020 7641 2070.

If you operate a food premises and access bespoke support or assistance you are able to contact the City Council’s Food Safety Team at [email protected] or call us on 020 7641 1092.

Business owners who are insurance policy-holders are encouraged to contact your insurance providers to check whether you might be able to make a claim on any damage or losses incurred owing to the flooding.

If you are a business owner who is a ratepayer and have suffered significant damage to your business premises or have incurred significant financial losses as a result of the flooding, you will be able to apply for the City Council’s National-Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) Hardship Relief Scheme

There are a variety of websites and resources that businesses can access on how to recover from flooding:

Safety Advice for Businesses

You will need to do an initial clean and follow this by disinfecting all surfaces that were contaminated by floodwater. You can clean contaminated surfaces with a brush, hot water and household cleaning fluid. Don’t forget to clean enclosed spaces under kitchen units or floorboards. If floodwater was contaminated with oil or diesel, you’ll need to use a detergent such as washing-up liquid. Once you have finished cleaning, use disinfectant on everything that was in contact with floodwater. You will need to wash contaminated clothing and bedding at a high temperature.

For food-related businesses, there is important advice on the FSA website regarding dealing with food safety following a flood.

Electrical and gas safety is vitally important following flooding.

Before you start clearing up:

  • check that the electricity supply is switched off at the mains.
  • if you aren’t sure the electricity is turned off, get a qualified person to do this.
  • don’t touch sources of electricity while standing in floodwater.
  • get any electrical appliances that have come into contact with floodwater checked by a qualified electrician before using them again.
  • if you use gas heating or gas appliances in your home, you'll need to get a Gas Safe-registered engineer to do an inspection after a flood.

The Electrical Safety First website offers more advice for dealing with the after effects of flooding.

Cleaning advice

Here’s some suggested advice on cleaning up after a flood:

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Cleaning advice PDF, 50.76 KB, 1 page

You can find further information on cleaning your home from GOV.UK

Council Tax exemptions

Westminster City Council will consider applications for Council Tax Hardship relief for periods when properties are uninhabitable. This is known as Section 13A relief and is a relief against a resident’s Council Tax. 

Applications should be made to [email protected]

Contacting your housing provider

All residents should make contact directly with their own Housing Provider first if they are experiencing difficulties with their accommodation.

Below are the contact details for the main housing association landlords operating in Westminster:

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Public meeting and Section 19 investigation

We hosted an online public meeting with Thames Water for residents and businesses affected by recent floods on Friday 30 July. The recording of the meeting can be viewed here:

 

We received over 100 questions during the event, and have compiled answers to questions which were not answered during the meeting. 

Please read an FAQ from the council and Thames Water for further information and support.

Read a letter from Cllr Melvyn Caplan about the next steps:

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We are undertaking a statutory investigation, known as a Section 19 Flood Investigation, in accordance with the process set out in Westminster’s Local Flood Risk Management Strategy to ensure that future incidents are mitigated and responded to as effectively as possible.

Read the terms of reference for the investigation:

We’re asking residents and businesses to complete a questionnaire providing details about how you were affected. Your responses will be analysed and considered as part of our investigation. The questionnaire can be completed online.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to return the questionnaire on paper, please find it on pages 37 to 40 of our Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Please email a scanned copy to [email protected] or post it to Flood Investigation, Westminster City Council, 14th Floor, City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP.

The survey will be open until 17 December.

Extraordinary Scrutiny Meeting: 30 September 2021

Westminster City Council’s Finance, Smart City and City Management Policy and Scrutiny Committee held extraordinary meeting on 30 September to investigate the flooding which occurred in parts of the city on 12 July 2021.The Committee analysed the flood events, the responses of the parties involved and the impact on the community.

Please note, the meeting was not able to handle specific casework requests and will instead focus on the causes, the response and the impact on the community. If you have a specific case, please contact your ward Councillor. The Committee used questions submitted as a basis for the debate to take place. Please also note that the council held a public meeting on the subject on 30 July 2021 and a number of questions were posed at this meeting. Read a summary of the responses to those questions from the council and Thames Water.

Other helpful information

Contact details for extra help

There’s lots of health and wellbeing advice available at OneWestminster

You can also e-mail them at [email protected]

Shopping and prescriptions

This service will arrange volunteers to pick up your shopping and deliver it to you, or pick up prescriptions. You can e-mail them at: [email protected]

For referrals to the foodbank

If you need food, please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for referral. You can reach the CAB quickly online by filling out an online enquiry form.

Local Support Payment 

If you need help because of an emergency or a crisis, you may be entitled to a Local Support Payment (LSP).

Disposing of waste

If you have furniture or other items affected by the flood that you wish to dispose of, please call our environmental action line on 020 7641 2000.

Please do not place items on the pavement in advance. Our collection team will call you back to confirm a priority bulky waste collection time.

We are unable to clear floorboards, plasterboard, rubble sacks and similar ‘builders waste’ as these require separate disposal from ‘household waste’ items. 

Safety and security

We are liaising with the Metropolitan Police to ensure additional patrols in the area to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, especially where properties are unsecured or empty or where property has been moved to the street. If you witness an incident or are concerned about community safety, please report this to the Police by calling 111. If there is an ongoing crime or serious incident, call 999.

Westminster City Council tenants

If you are a Westminster City Council tenant and have an emergency issue with your property, please call 0800 358 3783.

Water supply

We are working closely with Thames Water to return the City to normal and identify where improvements are needed. If you have problems with your water supply, contact Thames Water on 0800 316 9800. We have been reassured that water is safe to drink. 

Thames Water

Thames Water provides support for households in financial hardship via a charity called the Thames Water Trust Fund.  The Thames Water Trust Fund is an independent charity, managed by trustees, which offers financial advice, benefit checks, food and fuel vouchers, and can provide essential household goods, such as beds and washing machines.

If you would like to know more about this offer, please contact Thames Water and ask for the Extra Care Team on 0800 009 3652.

Thames Water can also speak to you about other support, such as discounts on bills for low-income households. Find out more.

See the latest from Thames Water