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Herne Hill Flood – One week on….. Half Moon Lane due to reopen 26th Aug

Just a week on, Herne Hill is getting back to normal but for 35 businesses it’s going to be a long haul.

An eagle-eyed resident spotted the water swelling through the concrete around midday on Tuesday 6th August.  He noticed the seepage was getting worse so he called Thames Water around 12.30pm who logged it as a repair to be done within 3 days.   The company agreed to dispatch an engineer within three days, but tragedy struck when the main burst less than 24 hours later at 5am on Wednesday 6th Aug.

For photos and news of the flood last week please see the post here…..

The Lambeth side of Herne Hill is open for business with Southwark bearing the brunt of the flood.   The ensuing flood affected 35 businesses and two residents.  Thames Water and Southwark Council have been working hard to restore services and help businesses and residents affected.

Daily Update on Half Moon Lane 13th August 2013
Daily Update on Half Moon Lane 14th August 2013 (S Badman)

The broken pipe has been replaced and work is in progress to repair the roadway and pavements, with estimates that Half Moon Lane will be reopened sometime next week.   Text “Halfmoon” to 80007 for updates from Thames Water.   Further details are on  and

Herne Hill flood updates are being posted on this Facebook page:

Flood relief companies and loss adjusters are busy in Half Moon – here is the latest on the businesses (14th August 2013)

Sainsbury’s – Open

Intersport – Open

Pizza Express – expecting to reopen next week

Half Moon pub – being assessed.

McMillan Williams Solicitors – operating from a temporary office

Shah Kazemi Accountants – operating from a temporary office

BurnetWare estate agents are open for business

BurnetWare Estate Agents open for business 14 August 2013
BurnetWare Estate Agents open for business 14 August 2013 (S Badman)

Oliver Burn estate agents operating from Clapham Office

Pedders estate agents are operating from other offices

Half Moon Dental Practice – offering an emergency service via Haynes Dental

Brockwell Pharmacy – open for dispensing

Oxfam Main Shop and Book Shop – both expected to reopen at the end of October.  “Bookmageddon in the cellar of the bookshop” says Gavin the manager

Hairdressers – open for business

Illusionist – no news but has lost irreplaceable items in the basement flood

Just Williams toys – operating from East Dulwich Branch

Kindred Bakery – open and selling bread, rolls, cakes, about 50% open they say

Bon Velo – hoping to open a workshop soon

Other shops are being cleared out for drying and refitting.

Questions are being asked as to why Thames Water was unable to check the flow pressure in the pipes when the problem was first logged.  We are seeking answers and will report back.

Update after public meeting with Thames Water on 14th August:

The burst main was a 36″ cast iron main installed in 1925.  The main broke and fell away downwards.  The pressure of water from the broken main washed away the soil and grit bursting through a hole into the road and carrying the soil debris with it as it flooded Herne Hill, hence all the dirt on the roads.   While Thames Water have a number of monitoring systems looking at the whole water system, it was not possible to identify centrally any serious flow problems at this point.  It would have required a visit to the site, and had the pipe not burst engineers would have attended with equipment to trace the leak.     The broken main has been sent to forensics to establish the cause of the breakage.

London Fire Brigade Silver Command were in charge on Wed 7th and handed over overall charge to Thames Water later on Wednesday.

The first priority was safety.  A lamppost collapsed and electricity had to be isolated.  A tree was also on top of where the ground had been washed away so the tree was removed.

TW also had to check the sewers had the capacity to take water pumped out of basements.   The basements were first checked to ensure no one had been trapped, and then the basements were pumped out. and water discharged into the gullies and main sewer.

Once the site was safe and environment under control, work started on replacing the pipe.  The new spun steel pipe has now been installed.

The reconnection of electricity has been quite an exercise which TW co-ordinated.  UK Power Networks reconnected the electricity; new meters and distribution boards had to be installed by the suppliers, followed by certification between the various parties.   Residents above the shops were the worst affected through loss of electrics, and they were put up in hotels by Thames Water.  The last properties to be reconnected were due to be done today.

Half Moon Lane will be fully open on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August with partial reopening from Herne Hill to Stradella earlier.

Report in Southwark News (Reena Kumar) 15th August 2013

A Thames Water spokesman said about reports that Thames Water was contacted about water seeping in the area of the burst “We get over 200 leaks reported to us every day across our network.  A call was taken on Tuesday (6th) lunchtime about a leak on the kerb that was going into a nearby drain.   We spend time talking to customers about leaks and this wasn’t causing any flooding or traffic problems so wasn’t thought to be severe.  We’re really sorry to affected customers and we are working hard to put things rights as quickly as possible.  Our main priority is to get people’s lives and businesses back to normal by bringing power back to the road and mending the broken pipe.”

Thames Water FAQ about claiming on insurance Thames Water FAQ  (posted 17 August 2013)

4 replies on “Herne Hill Flood – One week on….. Half Moon Lane due to reopen 26th Aug”

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