Burst main leaves pub with 60,000 litres of water in the cellar as neighbourhood floods

Massive clean-up under way after major junction was flooded to 1.5 metres

A clean-up operation is under way after a burst water main flooded homes and businesses in a south London neighbourhood.

Water levels have subsided following the mains burst on Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill which left fire crews using boats to navigate waters up to 1.5 metres deep.

London Fire Brigade said crews were working to pump water out of the flooded basements of 37 homes and businesses. It warned residents to remain in their homes for safety.

Bruce Grain, Brixton fire station manager, said: "At its peak the water was up to a metre and a half deep and covered an area of about 200 metres by 200 metres, but fortunately it has now subsided although we will be there for most of the day helping to clean up the area.

"The basements of 37 homes and local businesses have been confirmed to have been flooded with water up to three metres deep and our crews are working really hard to pump out the water and minimise the damage.

"The pub nearby has around 60,000 litres of water in the basement alone and should take an hour and a half to clear with our high-volume pump.

"At the same time we're spraying the road to get rid of the mud so roads can be reopened and people can get on with their business.

"We hope to open a number of roads in the next few hours and help neighbouring shops to reopen.

"People are reasonably upbeat about the disruption. Many residents were able to leave their properties by the back entrances to get to work.

"We're still asking people to stay in their houses at the moment for safety."

The Environment Agency is also at the scene, the LFB said, along with local authority staff and National Power, which has turned off electricity in the affected area.

The gas board is also attending because of the smell of gas, it added.

A woman on her phone at Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill, London as a burst water main has resulted in severe flooding A woman on her phone at Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill

One local resident, Fran Graham, tweeted: "Woke up to biblical scenes today, water level is dropping so hopefully I can get out of my flat soon."

Ms Graham, 25, a receptionist at environment campaign group Friends of the Earth, said: "The water is pretty much gone now and they are clearing up mud everywhere - all the silt and stuff has come out of the drains. They are hosing down the streets.

Flooded streets after burst water main in Herne Hill, London Flooded streets after burst water main in Herne Hill  

"We are on the third-floor flat - our hallway was a little bit soggy and smelly but all of our stuff is okay.

"Some of the businesses were at least knee-deep in water. I went into the dry cleaners this morning and he was distraught."

Craig Rance, a spokesman for Thames Water, said: "A 3ft-wide water pipe burst in Herne Hill at the junction of Half Moon Lane at around 5am today.

Aerial view of Herne Hill floods from MPS Helicopter Aerial view of Herne Hill floods from MPS Helicopter

"This has caused substantial flooding to the road and 36 properties in the area. We're really sorry to affected customers and we are working hard to put things right as quickly as possible. Our main priority is to get people's lives and businesses back to normal.

"Our loss adjusters are en route and will soon be talking to people to get the insurance process under way.

"Customers should all still have water running through their taps as we have managed to reroute our network."

PA

A man helps a lady through the water on Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill, London as a burst water main has resulted in severe flooding with water up to a meter deep in some places A man helps a lady through the water

Local residents stand on the rooftops of shops on Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill, London as a burst water main has resulted in severe flooding with water up to a meter deep in some place Local residents stand on the rooftops of shops on Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there