Floods Cause Travel Chaos In Wimbledon

Motorists urged to avoid areas affected after heavy rain

There was travel chaos in around Wimbledon as up to 50mm of rain fell in an hour in several spells during Wednesday and Thursday.

Merton Council said some areas struggled to cope with the sheer volume of water and its highways team worked round the clock to keep the gullies clear of debris.

During the morning rush hour on Thursday, Merantun Way in South Wimbledon was badly affected (see picture on the right) and motorists were advised to avoid the area all day.

Tube and rail commuters were also hit, with the District Line being closed between Parsons Green and Wimbledon as well as parts of the Northern Line being suspended.

Southern train services were also affected and there were major problems with South West Trains services after a lightning strike at Waterloo Station.

A number of streets in Colliers Wood around Colwood Gardens had no power from Thursday afternoon.

The Met Office issued an amber rain warning and the Environment Agency issued a flood alert for the Wandle and Beverley Brook on Thursday.

Major areas to avoid were: Raynes Park under the railway bridge, Bushy Road, Colliers Wood High Street and Baltic Close, Morden Road and Merantun Way in South Wimbledon.

South West Trains issued the following warnings on Friday morning:

  • Wimbledon - We are currently only able to use 1 line out of 4 fully through Wimbledon and 1 partially with trains being talked past signals. This is will severely delay trains. 
  • Clapham Junction - we have a track circuit failure affecting 2 of our signals, this will continue to delay trains. 
  • Trains are not able to run between Shepperton and Fulwell due to flooding. 

In normal circumstances, 10-15mm of rain in an hour would be regarded as heavy, and the River Wandle at Wandle Park reached its highest recorded level at 8.15am on Thursday. Its previous record was reached in July 2007.

Doug Wilson, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager, said: “Torrential downpours across the south-east including London could lead to further surface water flooding and significant disruption to travel on Thursday.

“Environment Agency teams are out on the ground, supporting communities and our partners to reduce the impacts of the heavy rain, and we will issue flood warnings and alerts where necessary. If travelling, we urge people not to drive though flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.

“People should check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation at www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding or follow @EnvAgency, and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates.”

Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis added: “We are doing what we can in these difficult weather conditions, working around the clock to clear the drains and keep Merton moving.

“The huge volume of rain has resulted in a lot of surface water and we would advise people to avoid walking through floodwater as you can’t see where you’re walking and drain covers may have come dislodged because of the water pressure. Where we’ve been informed about drain covers and other issues on our roads, we have made the roads safe and have informed Thames Water.”

Check Merton Council's Severe Weather advisory page for updates about their services, including the affect on local refuse collections.

June 24, 2016