Flash flood water which cascaded into the historic RAF Uxbridge Battle of Britain bunker did get in and cause some minor damage, it has emerged.

Forty-eight hours after the deluge which brought widespread floods and transport chaos to parts of the borough in the early morning of Monday, July 28 , contractors are still removing the last of the rainwater which poured down the main staircase of the bunker.           

Water marks on a window show how high the water rose
 

Although the deluge was largely stopped by smoke-resistant doors, prompting volunteers on Monday afternoon to tentatively state that catastrophe had been averted, the water managed to seep into the 60ft-deep Battle of Britain command centre.

Contractors working tirelessly since Monday had by the morning of Wednesday, July 30 reduced the depth to about an inch throughout, said Squadron Leader Richard Willis of RAF Northolt, who oversees RAF heritage in the borough.

“They have got the majority of the standing water out, but what is left is about an inch of standing water throughout the bunker,” he said, following a visit on Tuesday afternoon.

“After that, it’s a case of drying everything out and getting the dehumidifiers down there.”

A corridor resembles a river
 

Nonetheless, all the carpets will have to be scrapped, said Mr Willis, and a few small artifacts have been damaged.

Crucially, although water did eventually reach the famous plotting room, it sat at floor level at the entrances and did not rise sufficiently to enter a room that has a higher floor than the bunker’s ground level.

“The biggest problem frankly is that we cannot have the public in there for at least two weeks,” said Mr Willis. All visits are cancelled until further notice.

Measures are being looked at to stop such a disaster happening again but they need to be assessed for cost-effectiveness, he said.

“Let’s be honest, this was built in 1939 and this has never happened before, so will it happen ever again? That’s the question.”

RAF Northolt appeals for your help

'You are watching the water rush in and that's when you start to panic'