THE ‘worst floods in 40 years’ are blighting Harefield.
Heavy rain has caused gardens, footpaths, tennis courts, roads and towpaths in the north of the village to flood since Wednesday last week.
Some of the fields along Moorhall Road have also suffered with up to a foot of water, according to reports.
Ray Davis, who lives in Springwell Lane, said this is the worst he has seen it in the four decades he has lived there, and has resorted to digging drains along the side of his road.
“It’s called Springwell Lane for a reason – the water just pours down it,” he said. “We just have to get out and clear the drains ourselves or the water will just sit there.
“We’ve had to drive through a foot of water in previous years.”
The sluice by the weir, where the River Colne splits with the Grand Union Canal, has also overflowed and a waterfall is pouring over lock gates at Royal Quay.
The garden and tennis court, belonging to a bed and breakfast near Black Jack’s Lock, are under more than a foot of water and the canal has also risen to cover a footpath by the Coy Carp pub. The footpath running by the sub-station at Coppermill Lock is also under water.
“I’ve lived here 10 years and have never seen anything this bad. It’s shaken up a lot of people,” said Mike Gordon, who lives in Jacks Lane.
“It appears there’s insufficient infrastructure, but to change that is a massive job. Thames Water had a wagon out trying to clear the drains on Saturday, but they had all backed up.
“Excess water runs down Park Lane and goes into the canal. If the Colne cannot cope, where will the water go?”
Tim Wood lives on a canal boat near Springwell Lock, where a flooded towpath meant he could not reach his boat earlier this week.
“This is just what happens in a river valley. I’m not convinced anything can be done to prevent it,” he said. “All we can do is wait for it to drain away.”
The Environment Agency issued advice to people near flooded areas and warned of more rainfall this week.
“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely,” said a spokesman. “We are urging communities to prepare in advance by signing up for free flood warnings and to take action if they receive one.”
People should avoid driving or walking through flood water as just 15cm of fast-flowing water can knock an adult off their feet.
More information is available at www.environment-agency.gov.uk or from Floodline on 0845 988 1188.
Hillingdon Council is encouraging anybody with concerns about flooding to report them at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/reportit.