Heavy rain on July 12 created a torrent of water that spread sewer water into basements on the street.
Portobello Antique Dealers’ Association chairman Costas Kleanthous said: “Water came down the hill from Notting Hill like a river. It rose to 1.3m and went into many basements. Residents and dealers are calling in professional cleaning companies and their insurers and everyone is trying to get things cleaned up. It is a real mess.”
Portobello Group, which runs a number of arcades in the area with around 500 dealer tenants, said: “All arcades were affected but the worst hit were those lower down such as Admiral Vernon. We had men in situ immediately trying to mitigate the damage but the volume of water was just too great. Ground floors and basements were badly affected, stalls, flooring and walls suffered water damage and in some cases stallholders’ stock was damaged.
“We have been working 24-7 to commence clean-up procedures, water pumping, dehumidification, liaising with insurers and loss adjusters. We have also met with RBKC [Kensington and Chelsea Council] to see what assistance they can offer and the main agreement is that more assistance is needed in the form of business rate relief.
“Our management team are also liaising with all affected stallholders. In addition we have decided to maintain the rent discount that we offered as our Covid support until further notice.
“However, the effects of lockdowns, lack of tourists and now this disaster have left Portobello reeling. We truly believe that more assistance is needed from above to support us through this period.”
Retired dealer and resident Marion Gettleson’s basement flat on Portobello Road was flooded. She said: “The flat will have to be gutted and rebuilt but I am lucky that I have insurance. I am grateful for all the messages of sympathy. I am still around and it is just one of life’s pains to get through.”
Nicholas Kasic, markets manager at Kensington & Chelsea Council, has around 50 tenants who are antiques and vintage traders in Portobello and Golborne Road.
He said: “The road market traders are fine and have been able to stall out. But some of the shops, restaurants and bakeries have been affected and are trying to sort out the damage.”