Hundreds of Chiswick homes at “high flood risk”

Image above: Flooding in Acton Lane earlier this year

Council report published

Hundreds of homes in Chiswick are at high risk flood areas according to a report commissioned for LB Hounslow.

The details emerged with the publication of the Updated Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP), commissioned to help Council understand the causes and effects of surface water flooding and to assist them in finding the most cost-effective way of managing flood risk in the borough.

Surface water flooding occurs when the volume of rainfall exceeds the capacity of drains and surface water sewers and is unable to drain away through drainage systems or soak into the land. It is intensified in urban areas were there is much impermeable ground.

Excess water can pond at local low points and often forms flow pathways along roads, built up areas or open spaces. When heavy rain falls, water tends to flow down from the Bollo Lane area into the middle of Chiswick towards the Thames. In recent storms businesses along the High Rd were flooded and cars stuck in flash floods.

In the report the borough is divided into a number of catchment areas to assess the risk of surface water flooding. Consultants Metis concluded more than 400 properties in Chiswick were at risk from a once in a century weather event with over 3,000 at risk from a once in a millennium event.

The report identified 35 hot spots across the borough of especially high risk, five of which are not part of ongoing modelling projects by Hounslow and other boroughs. Two of these hotspots which have not as yet been modelled are in Chiswick, one in Edensor Road.

Part of the report which shows more detailed information as to the location of the at risk properties has been prepared but not yet published by the council.

Image above: Chiswick High Rd flooded earlier this year

Council implementing flood prevention measures

To help mitigate the problem of surface water flooding in Hounslow, the Council says it has already put into place some measures.

The Council is working with Thames Water and the GLA on the feasibility of several long-term projects around Hounslow to introduce improved and sustainable drainage systems to help tackle flooding in the future.

The Thames Water Strategic Partnership (TWSP) is a five-year project running from 2020-2025 which will see ‘£3million invested to improve surface water management by incorporating sustainable drainage systems across the Borough’.

LB Hounslow is also working with the Environment Agency on area-specific Flood Alleviation schemes which will cover Northwest Hounslow; Feltham; Isleworth and Brentford End; Chiswick and Grove Park which will involve installing sustainable drainage systems.

Hounslow Highways already uses specialist equipment regularly to unblock gutters and drains around the borough to prevent localised flooding issues.

Images above: Drains failing to cope with the amount of surface water in Hammersmith and Barnes earlier this year

Sign up to flood warnings, warns councillor

Cllr Pritam Grewal, Hounslow Council Cabinet Member for Contingency Planning, Resilience and Flood Risk Management said:

“Unfortunately we saw a number of flooding incidents during heavy rain this summer and this Plan sets out what we intend to do to try and minimise the effects of flooding for residents as part of our wider Climate Emergency Action Plan.

“Every flooded house causes considerable expense, not to mention the stress and emotional toll, so we would encourage residents to also take action to reduce the risk of flooding if they can, and make sure they are prepared in advance if flooding does occur.

“Planning ahead can mean checking your home’s flood risk and signing up to flood warnings, as well as taking some simple steps such as checking your insurance, knowing how to turn off your gas, electricity and water or finding out where to go to get help.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Climate change: ‘no time for delay and no room for excuses’

See also: Gunnersbury station voted worst London Underground station

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