BERG Case Study: Herne Hill

After a burst water main flooded businesses at Herne Hill, Community Resilience UK helped support the emergency response and clean up.

Following the burst of a 3ft-wide water main pipe of Half Moon Lane, near Herne Hill station, the local area was affected by severe flooding. Thames Water and London Fire Brigade quickly arrived on scene to begin pumping the water from the streets. Many affected businesses were still closed, or in a state of refit/clean-up the next week. With their aim of supporting resilient communities Community Resilience UK helped to support this emergency response.

Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) affected

Out of 20 businesses impacted by the flooding, 90% of them were independent SMEs.

General effect of the incident

A site visit on August 14th found many of the impacted businesses to still be closed, or in a state of refit/clean-up. The worst hit area of Herne Hill was at Half Moon Lane – with all businesses affected. It was to remain closed until after the August bank holiday (26th) at the earliest, in order for emergency waterworks and repairs to be carried out. Businesses that had outlets elsewhere redirected customers to their other premises. Only a few of the SMEs continued to trade, and even then only partially.

The response

The response to the flooding was mainly a data-gathering process. BITC assessed the situation to decide whether a BERG deployment would be necessary, but concluded that as the worst-impacted businesses were “point-of-sale” driven, the types of services that BERG offers would not be suitable in this instance.

From the data collected, it was concluded that cash flow was the biggest issue facing those SMEs that had been badly affected by the flooding, as they suffered significant loss of stock and the properties required total refits. 

Discover more about the BERG initiative here.