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West London family of six flooded as mum gives birth to baby boy


A family of six must move into a hotel after flash floods ruined their home while the mother gave birth.

Residents and businesses have been left counting the cost after a flash flood swept through homes and shops in North Kensington.

Several parts of London were hit with flooding after heavy rains swamped the capital on Monday (July 12).

New-dad for a fourth time, Larbi Bensaad, wasn’t in when water rushed into the ground floor and garden of his home off Lancaster Road – as his wife Amina was giving birth to their newborn son.

He said: “We’ve had fire and flood,” as he cleared up after the flood.

“My neighbours joked we should call him Noah,” he added.

“The water was thigh high and smelly and everything is covered with mud. The floorboards have to come up too.

“The force of the water has moved furniture access the room too. My computer is gone and my scooter is gone.”

Omar El Baghdady helps clear up after the flash flood damaged his grandmother’s flat

His three other children, aged between seven and four stayed with friends after the flood and the family will be staying in temporary accommodation in a hotel.

Kensington and Chelsea council put 120 people in hotels overnight as a result of the floods.

“There is big damage and there will be big restoration, but nobody died. We have to look for the bright lights in it,” he said.

Omar El-Baghdady was clearing up damage at his grandmother Shafika Ragab’s home in Lower Clarendon Walk. His uncle Heshan Rahman died in the Grenfell Tower fire four years ago.

Omar said: “In one day it’s become like a swimming pool. We were having dinner and that went well. The water was knee high and we’ve had to turn everything off – the fridge and all the electrics.

“Everything below knee height was destroyed, all the electronics, everything.

“The water was just coming in through the cracks in the doors.

“The smell is very strong. Some of the neighbours had stuff come up through their toilets.”

His mother Noha El Baghbady, said: “We have been bereaved by Grenfell and now this is a repeat of Grenfell. My mother lost everything, she lost my brother in Grenfell.”

She said it will be hard to clear up after the disruption of the flood. Her mother has lived in the flat for 40 years and the family hope they can restore the damage.

Sam Fernandez helped clear up after a storm drain overflowed in St Mark’s Road sending water gushing down the street.

He said: “It was awful, it was raw sewerage. My daughter Katie helped. It was awful but what is really nice around here is everyone helps each other.”

A Kensington and Chelsea council spokesman said: “We’ve placed 120 people in hotels yesterday evening and into the night. Our housing management and hub teams will be calling residents today to check on their welfare, both in the hotels and council residents who might need extra support.

“The Curve in North Kensington will be open from 9am with council staff on hand to offer support, advice and signposting to residents, from housing to adult social care support.”

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