Floods show the best of Croydon


By - Monday 17th February, 2014

Ben Flook looks for the bright side and uncovers Croydon’s community spirit in the response to the floods


The spectacle of flooded streets, sandbags and road closures has, rather unfortunately, become commonplace in many parts of Britain over the last few weeks. The wettest winter in two and a half centuries and some of the worst flooding in decades continues the trend of extreme weather as a consequence of climate change.

Unfortunately, as many Citizen readers may well have experienced, Croydon has been hit rather badly by flooding. Last week, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Eric Pickles, and London Assembly member Steve O’Connell visited businesses of Kenley. Already, Croydon Council has declared a ‘major incident’ in parts of south Croydon. Two care homes on Dale Road and Foxley Hill Road, as well as residents from nearby flats, have been evacuated. The situation has become so bad in Purley that the police have been called in to close of parts of the Purley Cross, flooding the underpass at Tesco in an attempt to save people’s homes. The council, Red Cross, Marine Police Unit and fire crews have all taken part in rescuing stranded households with the help of rubber dinghies.

Despite the doom and gloom, the efforts of local people and local services is a truly heart-warming illustration of the community spirit which exists in our borough. The council has, in exceptionally adverse conditions, acted pragmatically, offering victims refuge at Bernard Weatherill House until further accommodation can be sourced. The leader of Croydon Council, Mike Fisher, said: “We are doing everything we can to prepare for flooding and make local residents and businesses aware.”

Amidst all of this, in the most difficult of situations we are seeing the very best of Croydon: the incredible hard work and dedication of our emergency services, the police, the fire brigade, the council and, significantly, the most inspiring community spirit amongst volunteers and neighbours who are helping those vulnerable people in need. And that is what makes Croydon a truly fantastic borough.

Ben Flook

Ben Flook

Benjamin is a seventeen year old student at Wilson's School. He has lived in the London Borough of Croydon for the entirety of his life. In particular, Benjamin has an interest in cricket and politics. He is a member and an activist of the Croydon Conservative Federation and aspires to become a Conservative Party politician. Benjamin is a Conservative Party Candidate for the May 2014 Croydon Council elections.

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  • Anne Giles

    Wonderful article. Very positive.

  • James

    Very good article Ben, continuing your exceptional work from your last article about the need for Grammar Schools in Croydon. I live in one of the affected areas, and can confirm of the reassuring spirit which exists as you correctly point out in your article. Great read!

  • Stephen

    I live in Foxley Hill Road – in Purley near the Shell Garage. The flats at the bottom of the road are submerged. The rescue teams have done a great job, working round the clock. We really have seen the best of our borough in these dark times – the above piece is very positive which is what we need during times like these.