Not many people look forward to the cold conditions and miserable weather of winter, as it can seriously dampen your mood and spirit. But for others, this time of year is actually quite frightening.
Due to climate change, winters will get wetter with more frequent heavy downpours, meaning numerous households are prone to dangerous and life-changing flooding. When it comes to London, the risk may be greater than you think.
Flooding in London overview
In total, 15 per cent of London is in flood plain. While flood defences aim to protect us, thousands of homes as well as crucial infrastructure including 49 railway stations, 75 underground stations and 10 hospitals are in potential danger.
The five sources that can cause flood are tidal, fluvial (rivers and tributaries), surface (rainfall), sewer and groundwater flooding. However, defences can only protect against the first two and the city remains vulnerable to heavy rain due to large areas of impermeable surfacing and old-fashioned drainage systems.
Areas prone to flooding
The southwest of London around Windsor and Staines-Upon-Thames is considered a high-risk area due to its proximity to the river. Towards the city, Richmond and Twickenham are also in danger.
In fact, the western end of the Thames have low standards of protection, which isn’t helped by calls to change certain areas from industrial to residential and increase the density of development.
In the East, Erith is another vulnerable district along with Woolwich and to a lesser extent Greenwich. The southwest of London may also be susceptible to flooding from reservoirs in addition to eastern areas like Enfield, Edmonton, East Ham and Bow.
The advice for Londoners is to be prepared for flooding and to find out whether their home is at risk on the Environment Agency’s website.
If you would like more information about preparing for flooding and keeping your home damp free, go to our penetrating damp page.