A family’s home was flooded after heavy rain in London
A woman whose childhood home was flooded during the family’s first get-together in 18 months has described the experience as ‘heartbreaking’ for her parents.
Nicola Thorogood, 33, was at her parents’ house in Walthamstow, east London, along with her two sisters, their partners and all their children when torrential rain hit the area in July.
The family made a frantic attempt to keep the water out of the home they moved into in 1987, but in the end they gave up and put their efforts into trying to save as many belongings as possible.
‘It’s heartbreaking for my parents,’ Ms Thorogood said.
‘It’s just knowing what they’ve put into it – they’re in their mid-60s now, but they’re still working – and they’ve worked so hard all their life to have that house and it’s the thing they’re most proud of and want to pass on to us eventually. It’s that that breaks my heart.’
The house is about a 10-minute walk from Whipps Cross Hospital, which declared a major incident on Sunday.
During the flooding in July, Ms Thorogood’s family were all together for the first time since January 2020 after so-called Freedom Day.
Her older sister left with her children shortly after 3pm as the weather started to worsen, and soon after the rest of the family were using buckets to try to sweep water away from the front step, and build makeshift flood defences using bin bags and soil.
When it became clear they could not stop the water, they instead tried to save as many belongings as they could.
Ms Thorogood said: ‘We took what we could upstairs, obviously anything like sentimental photos and things like that. Then we retreated upstairs to my parents’ room and just watched the rain fall and the flood come in.’
‘My mum was close to tears,’ Ms Thorogood said. ‘She kept saying, ‘nobody’s hurt’ and ‘there’s worse things could happen’ but you could see the pain on her face.
‘My mum’s very house proud – she’s always cleaning and she’s always decorating and she keeps it to a nice standard.’
By Monday morning the water had receded and her parents were beginning to clean up.
‘They stayed because mum just didn’t want to leave,’ Ms Thorogood, who lives in Chingford, said.
‘I spoke to her this morning and she said the water’s gone, but it’s like a warzone, and they don’t know where to start.
‘I’m hoping she’ll come and stay here for a few days… they can’t stay there, at the moment they have no power, they don’t know if it’s safe to put it back on.
‘So it’s just a bit of a waiting game.’