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Stoke Newington flooding: Burst water pipe forces hundreds out of their homes

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:43 12 December 2016

A birdseye view of the flood. Picture: Sarah Nurse.

A birdseye view of the flood. Picture: Sarah Nurse.

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Hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes yesterday after a burst water pipe caused major flooding in Stoke Newington.

People were evacuated from their homes by medics who brought their dinghys. Picture: @LAS_HART.People were evacuated from their homes by medics who brought their dinghys. Picture: @LAS_HART.

The 30in pipe in Northwold Road ruptured at about 12.30pm and caused chaos in the surrounding areas, with 150 homes and businesses hit.

Some of the more vulnerable homeowners had to be helped to safety in dinghys after the water reached waist levels. It was drained overnight but the road will be closed for “the start of the week, at least” while the pipe is fixed.

The flood was London’s third in six days caused by a burst main, after incidents in Upper Street on Monday and Blackheath on Saturday. Thames Water is facing a bill of tens of millions of pounds to repair the damage caused to homes and businesses across the areas.

Director Bob Collington said: “It has been an extremely difficult week and, having visited and spoken to a number of those impacted, I am personally devastated for those customers who have suffered flooding so close to Christmas.

People were evacuated from their homes by the emergency services who brought their dinghys. Picture: @LAS_HART.People were evacuated from their homes by the emergency services who brought their dinghys. Picture: @LAS_HART.

“We are doing everything we can to help them and will make sure they are not left out of pocket for what has happened.”

The pipe in Northwold Road was installed in 1868, and Mr Collington added the flooding of the past week was a reminder the company needs to invest in the “sometimes fragile network”.

He said a full investigation into what happened was taking place, and reducing the chance of it happening again was a “top priority”.

Hackney Council opened Stoke Newington Town Hall as a rest centre for those affected.

Fire station manager Nicol McCallum was at the scene. He said: “Crews used specialist inflatable boats to evacuate the most vulnerable residents and help others recover valuables.

“Firefighters laid down sandbags to try and minimise the water damage.”

Six engines and two rescue units from Stoke Newington, Homerton, Tottenham and Bethnal Green were called to the scene.

Check the Gazette throughout the day for updates on the flooding.

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