District Line shut and Chiswick High Rd flooded by torrential rain

Image above: Flooding on Chiswick High Rd

Highest rainfall in the Southeast recorded at Kew Gardens

The District Line was closed and Chiswick High Rd flooded after a night of heavy rainfall on Wednesday 2 November brought travel chaos in London.

Morning commuters found the District Line closed, with no service between Earls Court and Richmond or Ealing Broadway as parts of London had more than two weeks of average rainfall in one night.

Sections of the M25 were closed and train and underground services were hit by cancellations and delays due to the torrential downpour which affected the Southeast of England. Sections of the A41 and A1 were also closed.

The Met Office said the top rainfall total recorded in the 12 hours from 9pm on Wednesday until 8am on Thursday was at Kew Gardens, where 42.2mm fell.

Image above: Flooding on Chiswick High Rd

Floods cause signal failure at Richmond and Acton Town

Transport for London said there were severe delays between Stratford and Richmond/Clapham Junction caused by flooding, while a signal failure caused by flooding at Richmond and Acton Town disrupted the service on the District Line.

South Western Railway reported a flood blocking railway lines between Fulwell and Hampton had also lead to cancellations and delays.

Image above: Flooding on Chiswick High Rd

Flooding in Chiswick High Rd

A section of Chiswick High Rd was flooded between the junction Heathfield Terrace on the south side to the junction of Essex Place on the north side and there were huge puddles all along the High Rd on both sides, particularly in the cycle lane and where the pavement dipped for pedestrian crossings, making crossing the road more hazardous than usual.

Image above: Flooding on Chiswick High Rd

Several businesses opened up in the morning to find flooding indoors as well. The Sainsburys at the corner of Thornton Avenue and the High Rd had buckets in the aisles catching drips from the ceiling and chiropractor David Harvey, owner of Health Shak at 1 Acton Lane, had to cancel all his appointments for the day when he opened up to find their reception area flooded.

Images above: Buckets out to catch the drips in the aisles at Sainsburys

A sign of things to come

“The flooding we saw today around Chiswick is a sign of the kind of extreme weather conditions we are going to see more of as climate change begins to bite harder ” Dr Karen Liebreich told The Chiswick Calendar.

Karen, who is a director of Abundance London and the Chiswick Flower Market, said:

“By concreting over our towns and deprioritising nature we have created this monster. We need to begin installing measures such as rain gardens (Sustainable Urban Drainage systems or SUDS) in our towns now to combat flood risk. And of course, taking climate change more seriously while we still have a chance to remain below 3 degrees of warming.

“We know what we should be doing, we just need to do it.”

Last month the Chiswick Flower Market organised a public meeting to discuss redesigning the ‘Old Market Place’, aka the car park where the markets are now held on Sundays, to introduce ‘rain gardens’, ie. more bare earth, precisely to absorbe this kind of excess water-run off from heavy rain.

READ ALSO: Chiswick Flower Market organisers present plans to improve ‘Old Market Place’

Images above: Huge puddles left by Wednesday night’s downpour

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Shops lose up to 70% business since start of cycle lane roadworks

See also: Chiswick High Rd void filled, but why are sinkholes becoming more common?

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