Flash floods: Actor’s climate warning after Hampstead home is wrecked
WATCH: How Marianne Sheehan's home was left deluged
18 July, 2021 — By Tom Foot
The water mounts at the back doors
THE dog first. Then her laptop. And then she grabbed a chair.
Marianne Sheehan had to make a snap decision about what to save first after water burst into her basement flat in South Hill Park, Hampstead.
The actor and climate activist spotted her shoes floating “waste high” in her garden after a deluge flooded down from Kite Hill.
The water short-circuited the power and she was left wading around with her husband in the dark.
“It was terrifying,” said Ms Sheehan.
“You see this happening in other parts of the world, where there are flood plains. It is really shocking when you are affected.
“Everything is damaged, from sofas to furniture to the parquet flooring, and the marble flooring. It got to waist-high in the garden and then it was knee high in the flat. So now we are homeless.”
She added: “We are a very tight community in South Hill Park. Dozens of people were out bailing out the water. People in their swim wear and flip flops.”
Ms Sheehan told how she went from breezily filming the garden filling up with water before understanding what was about to happen.
She said: “The water literally started coming in under the door. First we put down some towels and I was shouting ‘not the good towels’. Then we went to get bin liners, but we only had one bloody bin liner. I was ringing up my neighbour asking them to come around with bin liners. Then you hit a tipping point when you realise I can’t save any of this.”
Ms Sheehan added: “I grabbed the dog and took it to my neighbour’s. She might not have survived if we hadn’t been there.”
Ms Sheehan, who has lived in South Hill Park for 16 years, said the flood had reinforced her fears about a looming environmental disaster.
She said: “You can’t nail a particular event as being caused by climate change. But the climate has been disturbed as a result of CO2 emissions.”