'It has really affected us': Flooded homes and businesses wrecked by burst water main
Homes, businesses and a school are being mopped out after a burst main flooded a street - hitting power, heating and fresh water supplies.
A torrent of water swept along Park Lane West, in Tipton, after an 18-inch main burst, sending a jet 20ft into the air.
The route will be closed for 10 days while repairs are made and the road is resurfaced, according to Sandwell Council.
The broken water main, which caused chaos when it cracked at around 2pm on Monday, was removed on Tuesday morning.
A long crack shows how the pipe ruptured sending water cascading down the street and flooding up to 20 homes and businesses including Tipton Green Junior School which remains closed today. Six classrooms were hit by flood water.
Thick mud still lined the surfaces of Park Lane West, Manor Road and Baker Street on Tuesday.
Gardens have been reduced to thick brown mush and many living nearby were forced to take the day off work to clean up their flooded basements and gardens.
Some residents had to be handed bottled water while others were evacuated.
WATCH moment huge plume of water shoots into the air
Raymond Sheldon lives above Paz News, on Park Road West, with his partner and two children, aged one and three.
The 37-year-old, who was still without electricity, gas and water on Tuesday afternoon, said: “We had nothing to eat last night as we had no gas or electric.
"We sorted the kids out - and at about 3am one of the workers came over to give us six bottles of water.
"But that's it. They said they're going to try and get us a generator inside the house - but then what about all the fumes?"
Newsagent Paresh Patel, who runs Paz News, said he had to hold the door of his shop shut to keep the majority of the water back.
But liquid did manage to get in and damage the floor and the cellar of the shop. There was also water damage to machinery inside.
"Everything in the shop has been damaged," he said. "And then depending on the date of the stock that's another thing.
"Hopefully the insurance will sort it out.
"We were not allowed further down the road due to the electrics and the water," he said.
"The floor has gone and the cellar."
Jenna Durnall, aged 35, and her 43-year-old partner Stephen Pettifer live just one door across from the house which was ripped open by the force of the water.
They said their basement and part of their sun room had flooded but luckily not much more than that.
Jenna, who also has a 14-year-old son, said: "I was sitting in the living room when I heard a pop, like when a car tyre hits the kerb.
"So I just looked out the window and saw water everywhere. It was like a river.
"It was all in our back garden and in our sun room and our basement is flooded too.
"Stephen has had to take the day off to try and sort it but while the workers are sorting the pipe there is nothing we can do really."
Jenna and her family were evacuated from their home on Monday afternoon and had to go and stay with a family member.
She added: "It was because there was such a strong smell of gas. So we were all evacuated."
Speaking of her neighbours, who suffered extensive damage to their home, Jenna said she felt "awful" for them.
"I only see them around occasionally," she added.
"But they had done a lot of work to that house. I feel really bad for them, awful. They can't even go in and get personal items because of the structure.
"It really has affected a lot of people. And because the school is shut a lot of people have had to take a day off to look after their kids."
Water seeps into school
Tipton Green Primary remained closed on Tuesday after the burst pipe sent water cascading into the playground and building.
Pupils and teachers watched in horror as water came seeping under the classroom doors.
Six classrooms and pathway in the school grounds have been affected by flooding.
It is unclear if the school will be able to fully reopen this week due to the damage caused.
Headteacher, David Rowe, said: "We feel very fortunate that the damage to the school was much less than we feared.
“The flood water reached six of our classrooms along with a few other rooms.
"There has also been some damage to a pathway within the school grounds
“I want to thank children, staff and parents who were all very calm throughout the school being evacuated.
"I'd also like to thank our neighbouring school Silvertrees Academy for their help during the evacuation.
“Quick-thinking staff reacted swiftly to barricade doors to stop water from seeping underneath to the corridors.
"Staff also had time to move objects that were on the floor to stop them from being damaged.
“We hope to partially re-open later this week to some pupils.”
June Colgan, aged 53, said her eight-year-old grandson and six-year-old granddaughter were both in a lesson when it happened.
She said: "Apparently the water was coming in under the classroom doors. The teachers moved them all to the top floor of the school but when the realised the severity of the situation they had to evacuate."
June, who lives just opposite the school, was one of the lucky ones. Her home was not damaged at all by the water but she did lose electricity for the entire evening.
"The workers out here have worked so hard though - they've done so much since it happened," said June.
"And there was a cleaner out from the council at about half past six this morning cleaning away the water and mud."
At nearby Baker Street, one man rushed home after his partner phoned him to say: “There is water in our back garden.”
Dramatic images showed the garden of Mariusz Czuprynski and Urszula Kaminska under several inches of water.
Water seeped into their house while pieces of rubbish were left strewn in their garden.
Mariusz, aged 29, said: “It was shocking. We were worried because we have a three-month-old baby. We are not happy with what happened.”
Mariusz was told about the flooding by his partner Urszula, 31.
She said: “Water was everywhere. I didn’t know what happened and it was dangerous for everyone that lived here. Now we have to clean.”
Just down the road on Park Lane West, a 23-year-old mother, who only wished to give her first name as Daria, was livid.
She had been left without electric, gas and water. Flood water had seeped into her property, soaking her carpet and also her baby’s clothes.
She said: “I have a small baby at home, but I don’t have electric, I don’t have gas, I don’t have nothing.
“Yes this has affected me. But I can’t say to her, I can’t give you food because something happened. I am not happy. I have to stay in the house with no light or no heating.”
A 35-year-old woman, from Baker Street, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The garden got all flooded. It took South Staffs Water an hour to come out."
Western Power Distribution said electricity had to be cut to 171 properties in the wake of the leak and a spokeswoman said power was turned off due to safety reasons.
Power was restored later in the evening, they added.
Engineers remained on site on Tuesday and asked anyone with power supply problems to flag up any issues with staff or call 0800 6783 105 or 105.
South Staffs Water spokeswoman said all supplies to homes in the area should now be back on.
Anyone living in parts of Smethwick, West Bromwich, Tipton, Coseley, Bilston or Tividale, may still experience discoloured water.
Officials say the water is safe and advised running the cold tap for 20 minutes to help ease it.
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