Drain water streams from burst water main down Kingston Hill into shoppers amid heatwave

·3-min read
Drain water streams from burst water main down Kingston Hill into shoppers amid heatwave

Water has been streaming down a south-west London hill, flooding a busy high street as the rest of the capital swelters under a 38C heatwave.

As the rest of London swelters in a 38C heatwave, torrents of water were flowing down Kingston Hill after reports of a burst water main at 8.45am on Monday.

Police urged residents to avoid the area as 70 firefighters battled to divert the streams of water spewing out of drains away from homes and businesses.

Labour Cllr Kate Chinn told the Standard: “It’s sewer water and not expected to improve for hours.”

The floods have closed a busy high street (@Epsom_Chinn)
The floods have closed a busy high street (@Epsom_Chinn)

Yolanda Gonzalez, 47, a beautician at Serenity Salon, told the Standard: “In my 18 years I thought I have seen everything before but this was crazy.

“I came to open up and everything was fine then someone text me to ask if I was open and I looked outside and there was so much water coming down.

“I thought ‘Oh my god’ I was worried everything would be flooded. It happened in 2007.

“I feel very lucky because we have a big step from the pavement but I have seen the estate agents down the road have been flooded. They are trying to get the water out of their shopfront now.

“I have one client who wants to come in for an appointment but they are not letting her cross the river that has formed.

“The water is very dirty and leaving lots of soil and sand on the road. I think it will be like this for a long time.”

Firefighters at the scene in Kingston Hill (@Epsom_Chinn)
Firefighters at the scene in Kingston Hill (@Epsom_Chinn)

Resident David Underdown filmed the murky brown torrents from the safety of his flat window.

He tweeted: “Kingston Hill is not supposed to be a river. I think the Thames Water contractors just up the road got something a bit wrong.

“Hope they get it sorted quickly as it will not be a good day to be without water.”

Road closures are in place with buses placed on diversion.

Kingston Police tweeted: “Police were called to reports of a burst water main in Kingston Hill. Road closures are in place. People are advised to avoid the area.”

Kingston Hospital staff said access to Kingston Hospital would be limited by the water damage.

A spokesman said: “Patients who need to come in can still enter the hospital site through the main car park entrance, via Coombe Rd.”

London Fire Brigade Commander Sacha Clement said: “Firefighters worked quickly in hot conditions to divert water away from properties and reduce the damage.

“The 30 inch main has been shut off and the water is receding. However, surrounding roads will be closed for some time to come.”

Thames Water has said the broken 30-inch pipe does not supply homes so water should not be affected, adding that the conduit is a trunk main and not a sewage pipe as some witnesses claimed.

Thames Water said in a statement: “We’re aiming to get things back to normal as soon as we can, particularly in the current heatwave.

“The burst pipe doesn’t directly supply local properties, but we’ll be working hard to limit any impact.

“Our team will need to carry out a major repair, and there’s a road closure in place. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

“It’s a complex repair, so likely to take at least two weeks to complete.”

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