In July 2021, flash flooding in London produced some quite shocking scenes that were shown all over the world. After what is thought to have been one month’s worth of rain falling in just 24 hours (47.8mm), the city was brought to a standstill as roads were closed, tube stations completely flooded and homes evacuated.
London, along with many other areas of the UK, were put under weather and flood warnings, with more rain and thunderstorms forecast by the MET Office. This followed the wettest day since 1983, and the third wettest day ever recorded in London.
As more and more water poured into the sewers below the city, filling them up and spilling over onto the streets and into properties, over 2,500 calls were made to Thames Water. On top of that, with people desperate for help, it is thought that over 1,000 calls were made to the London Fire Brigade.
It was no different here at Ideal Response. Our phones were ringing nonstop as we received over 400 phone calls in just 48 hours. Homeowners, business owners, landlords, shop owners – they were all in desperate need of help to clear the water from properties in order to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.
It was one of the busiest weeks ever recorded at Ideal Response.
The Ideal Solution
Due to the incredible influx of calls, we pushed back our response time from 12 hours to 24 hours – this gave us enough breathing space to be able to identify which jobs needed priority and to get our team organised to be able to cover as much ground as possible.
The main priority was to get the water out of the properties as quickly as possible, in order to minimise the damage that it could cause – the stagnant water alone would have been bad enough, but coupled with the rising sewers, there was a very real threat to the health and safety of our customers.
To do this, we allocated teams to different areas, all across London, to pump the water out using our industry-leading technology. Every flooding incident needs to be treated differently, so our team had to decide on the most efficient process for each case, knowing that they needed to get to the next site as quickly as possible.
Once all of the water had been removed from the various properties, our teams could then set about the process of decontamination. Due to the nature of the floods, which contained sewage water, it was important to ensure that every affected area of every property was sanitised effectively.
In the aftermath of a flood, there are plenty of other risks to the property and the health of the occupants, which may go undetected initially. Things like water damage, damp, mould risks can all have dangerous consequences, so our teams carried out full flood assessments to highlight these risks, and take action against them.
Once all of the immediate risks were neutralised, and the threat of more flooding subsided, we were able to go back into many of the properties to fit drying equipment. We did this to make sure that there was no chance of moisture causing long-term damage, and to avoid any mould growth which is so common in the aftermath of a flood.
Usually when we produce case studies like this, it is with the intention of showing new clients what it is we do, and how good we are at doing it. However, this one is a little bit different, as this is aimed at our staff – to acknowledge the wonderful work that they managed to get done in very difficult and high-pressure circumstances.
Our statement to our staff in full:
“Over the last few days, Ideal Response have been inundated with calls and enquiries leading to one of the busiest weeks ever seen on record. With over 400 enquiries in 48 hours, it has been all-hand-on-deck, from non-stop phone calls handled brilliantly from our office team, to round-the-clock jobs for all our technicians.
“And all we have to say is THANK YOU. You have all worked so hard over the last 5 days and really pulled together as a team, bringing to the front all of Ideal Response’s core values. We are extremely proud of every single one of you. Keep up the great work.”