Flooded Kilburn couple thought the rain was 'never going to end'

Ben Shingler and Catherine Harris

Ben Shingler and Catherine Harris with their dog Toby outside their flooded Kilburn flat - Credit: Adam Shaw

A charity worker and civil servant in Kilburn have told how water gushed through their front door during heavy rains.

Families living in basement flats near Kilburn Park underground station were hit by the devastating flash floods on Monday night (July 12), which saw inches of water pour into their homes.

Heavy rainfall in the area saw drains overwhelmed, with residents powerless to stop water levels rising – despite their best efforts.

Charity worker Catherine Harris and civil servant Ben Shingler, both aged 27, live in Cambridge Gardens. 

Catherine said: “Water was coming in through the front door. We tried to barricade it but it kept coming until it was about three inches above the skirting boards.

“We didn’t know what to do – the council was useless. I was crying down the phone asking for help but they just didn’t deal with it.

“Everything is soaking and disgusting now, it smells like a pond. The floorboards and furniture will all need to be replaced.”

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Catherine said her dog, Toby, was “terrified” by what was happening and she expressed concerns for neighbours who might have had less time to deal with the problem. 

“The garden was flooded almost straight away with a good 10cm, but it seemed to take a little bit longer – about 15 minutes – before the water got in for us,” she added.  

Ben said they managed to get a place in a hotel overnight, but only because it was part of their landlord’s insurance and not due to council intervention. 

They can stay there for up to 14 days and have been given the day off work as they try to come to terms with the situation.

Ben said he thought the issue could have stemmed from blocked drains but it was the sheer volume of water that likely caused the problem. 

“We opened up all the drains to try and clear them out but it didn’t make any difference," he said.

“They weren’t blocked, it was just swelling up and overflowing with water.”

Several people took to social media urging Brent Council to issue emergency advice in response to heavy flooding in parts of the borough. 

At around 10.30pm the authority posted a tweet asking those affected to call its out of hours line.

Brent Council has been contacted for comment. 

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