A 40-ft plume of water from a burst pipe caused flooding mayhem in two Merseyside streets forcing people out of their homes.
Concerned locals were evacuated on Monday morning in inflatable boats as a “suburban geyser” submerged the streets in the Huyton area of Liverpool in 3ft-high flood waters.
The burst water pipe spewed water constantly as engineers battled to control the broken pipe. The neighbourhood had already been hit by localised flooding following a spell of heavy rain.
Escorted by firefighters, hundreds of properties were evacuated and a local primary school was forced to shut.
United Utilities network operations director, Colin Maloney described yesterday’s ordeal as “horrendous” and apologised for the leak – the fourth in five years.
He said: “This is a horrendous experience for those householders who have been flooded and our absolute priority is to see that they get all the help and support they need, today and over the coming weeks.”
One local is reported as saying: “It looked more like Niagara Falls than a burst water main. The pressure behind it was tremendous.”
Another resident, Mike Edwards, said: “The whole area is completely flooded and everyone has been left stranded.
“The water was spurting twice as high as the houses. We were just told to get out as quickly as possible. I saw one woman being rescued in a boat, the water level was that high. It has been made so much worse with the weather as it is.”
Speaking with Yahoo! News today, a United Utilities spokesman said that things are now returning to normal and a clean-up operation is in place.
Local residents are being warned that they may face a temporary loss in water pressure and a slight harmless discolouring to their supply while engineers try to fix the pipe.
An investigation into the pipe’s burst is now underway and customers who have suffered damage because of it will be compensated, according to the water company.