Upper Street flooding: All hands to the pump for Camden Passage clean up
- Credit: Archant
The leader of the trader’s group around flood-hit Camden Passage has urged the people of Islington to help them rebuild – by going shopping.
Christine Lovett, chief executive of Angel London, said many of the shops had already managed to reopen thanks to an extraordinary display of community spirit from her workers, shopkeepers, the town hall, business design centre and emergency services.
They have all been working around the clock to clear away the flood debris and fix electrics in the flooded shops, and Christine revealed tonight’s late-night shopping would go ahead as planned, despite half the road still being closed off.
“We’re trying very hard to do all we can,” she told the Gazette. “We’re making sure everyone is looked after and we’ve got quite a few trying to reopen their shops.
“Our message to all is ‘come and support the independent businesses’. They have been so brave and dignified in extremely difficult circumstances.
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“Some businesses are still not secure and the council has been brilliant in helping clear away bricks and rubble, it’s a real community effort.”
Almost half the businesses are expected to be open again this week, with others facing the crushing reality of not being open over the Christmas holiday period, the busiest time of year.
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“It’s predominantly basement damage,” continued Christine. “So it depends on how much stock was down there. Some are now open but others have lots of stock that needs to be assessed.”
The business design centre, which offered shelter to those affected by the flooding, has said traders can set up shop on the forecourt while their shops are cleared.
Eloise Rigby, who runs the The Pantry Underwear shop in Camden Passage, was not badly affected but has neighbours who were.
“It’s the worst time of the year it could possibly have happened and everyone is devastated,” she said. “There’s a lot of young businesses that have only recently opened.
“We have an email group and people who were down there early were posting pictures to show the damage,” she said. “Everyone has been wonderful and really pulled together the last couple of days.”