Torrential, ‘biblical’ downpours in west London caused flooding in Kensington, Maida Vale and Notting Hill, and saw cars left submerged in the road, with business and homes flooded and the repair bill reported to be in the millions.
Residents in a number of areas such as South Hampstead, West Hampstead, Raynes Park, Friern Barnet, Isleworth and Wimbledon also took to social media to post videos of the scenes, with whole roads in their neighbourhoods submerged.
The X Factor judge Simon, who lives with partner Lauren Silverman and their seven-year-old son Eric, was spotted near his London pile on Tuesday, wearing a black T-shirt and white shorts, after the rain had subsided.
While he appeared in good spirits, when asked whether his place had avoided the floods, he replied: ‘Not really, my house nearly floated away.’
While it’s not clear the extent of any damage to the music mogul’s home, he’s not the only celebrity to have had their places hit by the waters.
Queen’s Brian May shared his heartbreak after his Kensington home was flooded, with precious and priceless belongings ruined.
Sharing a video of the damage to Instagram, he wrote: ‘After a nice day at The Royal Holloway College, we came back to horror in our house. The whole bottom floor had been inundated with a sewage overflow – which has covered our carpets, rugs and all kinds of precious (to us) things in a stinking sludge. It’s disgusting, and actually quite heartbreaking.’
Brian said his wife Anita Dobson had ‘a lifetime of memorabilia on the floor of our basement – and most of it is sodden and ruined’, and had only just moved some of his old childhood photo albums into the basement before the damage occurred.
Saying it felt like the home had been ‘invaded, desecrated’, he added: ‘I had rescued all my most treasured childhood photo albums and scrapbooks from my studio house because it was threatened with a forest fire some months ago. Where did I put it all for safety ? In the basement here in Kensington. Irony. Today it turned into a sodden mess.
‘I’m devastated – this stuff is only ‘things’ – but it feels like Back to the Future when the photograph fades – feels like a lot of my past has been wiped out. I’m angry. Historically, for 150 years, Kensington has never flooded due to rainwater.’
The guitarist blamed the floods on ‘basement building that has been plaguing this area for the past 10 years’, adding ‘the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council was warned years ago that sinking so many deep basement extensions would obstruct the aquifers underneath our living space and render the drainage system ineffective’.
In a separate post, Brian wrote: ‘This devastation is a direct result of the infamous RBKC allowing the ruination of our quality of life. These are the same people who scandalously allowed the wrong cladding to be put on Grenfell Tower leading to the loss of so many lives. The same people who allowed a vast area at the end of Kensington High street historic buildings to allow the building of the – 1, Palace Gate monstrosity by developers – in spite of almost the whole population of Kensington objecting.
‘The same council that has allowed selfish basement building b*ds to ruin the lives of residents for endless years with the noise, pollution and destruction of our habitat by purely speculative basement construction.
‘The RBKC have been called one of the most corrupt and negligent borough councils in England. I hold them responsible for all the misery that is going on in my neighbourhood tonight. It’s time they were held to account.’
A Kensington and Chelsea Council spokesperson said: ‘Our priority is to make sure residents who have been affected by last night’s flooding have the help they need. Overnight we have placed 120 residents in emergency hotel accommodation and are making emergency repairs this morning. We are making welfare calls to vulnerable residents and have set up a centre at The Curve in North Kensington where Council officers are on hand to support people affected.
‘Flash floods have affected boroughs across London after sudden and torrential rainfall. This is causing damage and disruption across the city, not just here in just here in Kensington and Chelsea and is not linked to basement building.’
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