'Absolute despair' - Edinburgh luxury bathroom store owner left with 'tens of thousands of pounds' worth of flood damage after lightning storms

A Canonmills business owner says major flooding during last night’s lightning storm has caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to his luxury bathroom supply store.

Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 3:51 pm

Napier Bathrooms and Interiors owner Johnny Bacigalupo said his entire showroom was completely flooded which ruined the tile flooring, carpets, plasterboard and expensive bathroom equipment including a Georgio Armani basin and unit worth over £10,000, as well as boxes of goods in the store room.

He acknowledged it was an unusual weather event but claims the city council is at fault for failing to clear local drains blocked by mud and “knee-high” weeds, despite him making several phone calls to them in recent years about the issue.

Mr Bacigalupo, who stays in Juniper green and was alerted to the damage at his store first thing on Wednesday morning, said: "It's just horrendous.

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Johnny Bacigalupo, managing director of Napier Bathrooms and Interiors (right) with showroom manager Daniel O’Gara and some pictures of the flood damage. Pictures: Contributed/ JPI

"After all of our efforts to get all the social distancing signage on our floors and the concern of months of being closed by Covid-19, I suppose I just came in and it was absolute despair.

"On numerous occasions I have contacted Edinburgh City Council about drains often being filled with mud and knee high weeds. They simply have not been maintaining the infrastructure and now, because we've had heavier than normal rainfall, it's resulted in tens of thousands of pounds of damage. I blame the council for the shocking maintenance of the area.

Mr Bacigalupo's insurance broker has instructed a loss adjuster to visit the business as soon as possible and he is hopeful the damage will be covered.

The 44-year-old has also been having problems sourcing sandbags to stop his business being flooded again tonight in case of further rain, given there are more thunderstorm warnings in place just south of Edinburgh until 9pm.

The water mark can be seen most of the way up a door to Canonmills Baptist Church. Pic: Contributed

An Edinburgh City Council spokesperson said: “Our officers are visiting the premises today with sandbags and will check the area for any gully blockages.”

Several businesses affected

Mr Bacigalupo is also struggling to find a specialist to help pump out the water and dry the premises with dehumidifiers, and is having to do most of it himself for now.

He also said the neighbouring Canon Court Aparthotel flooded last night and that packets of crisps and bottles of juice were reportedly seen floating into their car park from the Marks and Spencer shop at a BP petrol station across the street.

Pictures also show the floodwater line most of the way up a blue basement door to the neighbouring Canonmills Baptist Church.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said officers closed the road for over an hour last night from 11:30pm following a report of flooding in Canon Street at the junction with Canonmills.

Pictures and video footage taken at the time show the extent of floodwater in the area and the police cordon next to the BP garage.

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