1. ITV Report

Charity worker shocked vehicle is still trapped in flooded car park

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian's Abigail Bracken

A charity worker from Kent says she is furious that her car is still stranded under a metre of water, one month after her apartment block's car park was flooded.

Pippa Garrott says the property management company, Pembroke Property Management, is refusing to pump away the water from flats in Tonbridge.

She says: "When I came down with all my Christmas shopping, ready to go to the family for Christmas, I was met with my car under between 4 and 5 foot of water - cue devastation. I could see my car underwater with my headlights still on so obviously the water had gotten into the battery."

Heavy rain before Christmas led to flooding in Tonbridge near the River Medway.

Now, the surrounding roads are dry and the river has returned to its normal flow, however the car park is still flooded.

Pippa says it has been 'shocking' and understands that it is 'due to money'.

She says she wants the stagnant water in the car park pumped away quickly before the building also becomes damaged by the flood water.

Flood affected Tonbridge just days before Christmas. Credit: ITV Meridian

Flood prevention panels were in place at Riverbank House before the flood, in accordance with the flood defence plan commissioned by the Freeholder. The riverbank was not breached, but it appears that the water came into the basement through the storm drain. South East Water are investigating installing non return valves for the storm drain. There are significant costs involved in extracting and disposing of circa 1000 cubic meters of water from a basement car park. Leaseholder funds are not available to pay for this cost and we have raised a claim with the building’s insurers and appointed specialist surveyors to manage the claim. The insurance company requires their own loss adjuster to be involved in approving quotations for the works where potential costs exceed £10,000. We are also mindful of environmental and health and safety issues. With regards the method of extraction, water samples are being taken to test whether it is safe to pump the water into the river. The surveyors are also liaising with the Environment Agency. If the water cannot be pumped into the river, it will need to be removed by tanker to a safe disposal depot. In the meantime, we have asked the insurer’s loss adjuster to help validate a tenant’s claim with regards her car insurance company."

– Spokesperson, Pembroke Property Management