London floods

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  • yeah, true. I just thought people are expecting to see todays carnage.

  • That's the worst I've seen it in 20 years, the council did make an effort to clear the drains regularly after it flooded badly there a few years ago.

    Sure, and they should. My point was that the existing drainage, no matter how clear, is obviously inadequate for rain like this. Underpasses like the one at Worcester Park should get a special project to greatly improve the drainage there (and then keep it clear, which is easier if there's more capacity, anyway). It's not rocket science.

  • For anyone who doesn't understand the German: 'Haha, that guy is really swimming there in front of me. Oh shit, I'm swimming in my car, too, now, I've really f***** up' (the latter phrase repeated numerous times).

    This guy doesn't come across like the sharpest knife in the drawer ...

  • I bet £1m none of the newspapers that show pictures of floating cars tomorrow say: "Driver ignored the rules and all common sense and drove into a flood". They'll say "Car caught in flood".

  • You may end up being right, but that's really not something I'd bet on.

  • Get a bucket and stop whining.

  • More substantially, while I'm sure many drivers who end up in situations like this have knowingly ignored rules, as with fords there are still many who simply don't know that the old 'accelerate and the momentum will carry you through' is, perhaps counter-intuitively, the worst thing you can try. We discussed this about fords a while back.

  • I took that a few hours ago on my way from work

  • This is not that simple as you might think: what event are you preparing for? There is a question if the underpass should be open at all times (massive drainage/water retention system - ££££) or we can accept it being closed once in a while. What is the future? Should we expect more of events considering change of climate? Add tight council budget, now affected by Covid, and the works like that by no surprise are at the bottom of the to do list.

  • "Leave cars stranded"

    Told you.

  • I found this link and I thought to bring it here where it belongs, for a wider image. Lots of pics too.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article­-9823591/Torrential-thunderstorms-lightn­ing-hailstones-lash-UK.html

  • Car stuck by pudding mill lane, was much deeper judging by the water mark on the wall. More by Asda in Leyton. Not all drivers accelerated I should add, but quite a few did and some didn't risk it at all preferring to go the wrong way up a one way street instead :)


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  • Thanks, as it happens I know quite a lot about how council funding works and about constructing drainage. Most underpasses are very old and were built in more innocent times. The fact that the shit show of Abrogation of Government since at least 2010 has perversely and wrongly devastated councils' finances means that one needs to make the case for what has to be funded all the more forcefully, obviously alongside far more meaningful work on climate chaos. Any investment here will save enormous amounts later. There are obviously other local projects on that list, but building good drainage is a bread-and-butter issue, and, as I said, absolutely not rocket science. It's similar to flood protection in the North in that it's simply ridiculously underfunded (and again, at the same time it is far more important to remove/reduce the causes of such uneven weather at source, not that European governments are really doing that). London boroughs get roughly £3-4m (varies quite a lot and is higher for some) for street infrastructure work a year, which may sound like a lot but is actually not very much compared to the backlog.

    If the underpass can't be open at all times, barriers need to be installed that are closed when it's flooded and the flooding is expected. It's not acceptable, no matter how dozy drivers may be, that there is the prospect of them getting caught in this sort of situation. It's different with the German driver fussballclub posted--he was driving on a flooded road for quite a long time before he foundered, as opposed to the very short distances that such underpasses cover, effectively like flooded fords, when conditions on the streets leading up to them are clear. Where the hazard is very much unlike conditions surrounding it, and it's unclear how deep the water is, drivers and others need to be actively prevented from driving into it.

    Good and safe public infrastructure is a public right, and politicians must not be allowed to get away with utter inaction in the face of problems like this. If you don't tackle problems, they only become more and more expensive as time goes by.

  • Just wait until we find the exception that proves the rule and you'll be £1m the poorer. :)

  • It doesn't even need saying, but what we're experiencing here isn't nearly as bad as what people in Germany have been going through, and the German floods, in turn, don't seem as bad as those in China. Just imagine if we got the sort of rain they've had in either of those places in London. It doesn't bear thinking about.

  • Well, it happens that I work on railways so I know a bit about drainage as well. And you are right: for the relatively small investment, a lot can be improved. Drainage is "not sexy", so these projects don't get too much attention. Mostly it is reactive and only until something like that happens, it gets attention required, but then: most of the budgets are thrown on the responsive measures.

    Having said that, it is worth to weight it if the money spent to mitigate 1 in 100 years event is worth it and I personally think that I am happy to give up the right to use underpass once in a long while if it means the money is spent elsewhere more efficiently.

  • unclear how deep the water is

    Near where I grew up there was a ford with a very helpful height guide sign to show the depth. They were installed after a tragic accident there once. I can't help thinking that installing these in underpasses would be a relatively simple cost effective way of showing the depth. Maybe in metric too.


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  • Well, it happens that I work on railways so I know a bit about drainage as well.

    Pffft, I bet all you know is ballast. :) #railwaystereotypes

    And you are right: for the relatively small investment, a lot can be improved. Drainage is "not sexy", so these projects don't get too much attention. Mostly it is reactive and only until something like that happens, it gets attention required, but then: most of the budgets are thrown on the responsive measures.

    Yes, it's exactly the same in road infrastructure, which is what I know about. If you don't look forward (quite a way), you end up getting nowhere/firefighting all the time. Also, most specs that have been followed in highway construction for decades are now well outdated--just look at the A406, again.

    Having said that, it is worth to weight it if the money spent to mitigate 1 in 100 years event is worth it and I personally think that I am happy to give up the right to use underpass once in a long while if it means the money is spent elsewhere more efficiently.

    It's not by any stretch of the imagination a 1-in-a-100-years event. These will become more frequent. We'll be here again in only a few years' time. Also, quite simply, you build the best drainage at the lowest point, and that'll help you in all sorts of other events, too, especially if the infrastructure at higher points is badly-maintained. My point wasn't about 'giving up the right' to use the underpass, but about the very real risk bad drainage there represents. Apart from the issues of personal safety, as you're a railway person I don't need to explain the risk to railway bridge foundations from standing water. Many railway bridges in London are Victorian, so well overspecced, and I don't know if they were ever built with the modern idea of a 'design life' in mind, but there's still no need to risk deterioration that can be prevented for a much larger range of events. (I don't know from when the bridge at Worcester Park is.)

    But most of those points are engineers' points, that is, people who operate very much within the system and have no leverage over it, having to make these sorts of 'triage' decisions, and I completely understand you making them, but there is no need to transfer that perspective to the political sphere.

    I'm mainly pressing the point that we must not accept inaction on things like this and that the parameters under which engineering operates can and should be changed. Just witness the ridiculous row and political point-scoring about Hammersmith Bridge in the last couple of years, led by an evidently incompetent Transport Secretary. I've heard so many excuses over the years for why this, that, or the other can't be done, and seen ridiculous, frivolous allocation of funding that has completely ignored actual priorities, when all it needs is political will and it can and will be sorted out. Granted, I'd agree that this isn't the absolute number one priority in highway engineering in London, but it has happened so often in the last few years, and not only in Wallington, that it simply has to be addressed. And for that, there is a need for public investment that the usual suspects can't dodge or shirk.

  • We discussed this about fords a while back.

    To be fair, the BMWs and Audis pictured haven't fared too well either.

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London floods

Posted by Avatar for Oliver Schick @Oliver Schick

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