Around 100 homes evacuated after Essex street floods

THIRTEEN people have been rescued from their homes by police boats after a burst water main flooded a street in Essex.

Residents in East Bridge Road in South Woodham Ferrers called police shortly after 6.30am this morning (Feb 7) to report that water was gushing from a drain in the street.

Around 100 homes were evacuated after flood waters reached about 30 inches (72cm) and entered properties on the street.

Engineers located and repaired the ruptured pipe by about 9.39am and an emergency reception area was set up for those evacuated from their homes.

A police spokesman said: “The water company has now stopped the flood of water from a ruptured pipe at East Bridge Road, South Woodham Ferrers and the water in the street is gradually receding.

“At one area in the street the water was about two and a half feet deep. Most of the residents were initially asked to move upstairs where it was safe to do so.

“A total of 13 people were immediately evacuated and were assisted from their homes by members of the Essex Police marine unit and other officers.”

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Firefighters were also called to the scene to assist residents and carry out salvage operations.

Divisional officer Matt Hughes said: “The water board estimate that around a million gallons of water have leaked out of the ruptured main and into the road.

“Firefighters have been doing an excellent job in difficult conditions. There is a large amount of extremely cold water and crews in dry suits have been involved in making sure that people and as many of their possessions as possible are safe.

“Firefighters are also pumping water from homes where it is possible.

“All the services are working well together and the community have really pulled together to help one another.”