Floods

Floods

Several floods have affected London and the surrounding area during the 20th century.

On 6 January 1928 the flood tide in central London was 1.8 metres above the predicted level. Floods were reported in Battersea, Poplar and Greenwich. The embankment by Temple Underground station was flooded, as was the Old Palace Yard at Westminster. The first section of the riverbank to give way was opposite the Tate Gallery at Pimlico. The gallery was flooded almost to the tops of the doors on the ground floor, and many paintings by J M W Turner were damaged.

Other buildings that flooded were Lots Power Station, Wandsworth Gas Works and the Blackwall Tunnel. Near Lambeth Bridge, the embankment gave way and 14 people were drowned in their basement apartments. Another 4,000 Londoners were made homeless.

One of the worst floods in Britain's history took place on 31 January 1953, when huge waves battered the east coast of Britain. A devastating tidal surge rushed up the Thames. Sea levels were 3 metres above normal in some places: 58 people died when Canvey Island was completely submerged. The River Thames and the Lea burst their banks, and over 1,100 houses in Silvertown and Canning Town were damaged. Fortunately, the flood did not reach central London.

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