Birmingham & Black Country

Tipton residents in temporary accommodation after burst pipe flood

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Media captionBurst pipe's water gushes nearly as high as houses

Residents of a street where a burst water main brought down part of a house have been placed in temporary accommodation after their homes were evacuated.

Seventeen residents were evacuated from 10 houses on Park Lane West in Tipton, West Midlands, on Monday, West Midlands Fire Service said.

South Staffordshire Water said 20 properties were damaged, one severely.

It has apologised and said repairs were expected to take a week to complete.

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Media captionThe aftermath of the burst main in Tipton

It is thought water also shot up to 20ft (6m) into the air, causing the gable end of one of the properties to fall off.

Kevin Watkins, of South Staffordshire Water, said the force of the water also damaged the road surface which would need to be taken up and resurfaced.

"It's probably one of the worst [bursts] I've seen for damage to property in my career," he said.

Image caption The damaged 18in (45cm) pipe had a vertical crack along its length

The firm said it was investigating the cause and had worked through the night after the flood, which started at about 14:00 BST on Monday.

It added the partially collapsed house had been inspected by structural engineers and made safe for workers.

Some of the evacuated residents have been temporarily re-homed by Sandwell Council while others have made their own arrangements, the fire service said.

All affected residents, bar those from the partially collapsed house, are expected to able to return home on 22 October.

Image copyright South Staffordshire Water
Image caption South Staffordshire Water estimates the clean up operation will last about a week

The street itself is likely to stay shut until 25 October, the council said.

Tipton Green Junior School remains closed after 700 children were evacuated due to flooding. The school will be shut on Wednesday but it is hoped some pupils will be able to return later in the week.

Western Power Distribution said electricity was switched off at 171 properties in the area on Monday but had since been restored to all but the the partially collapsed building.

Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption The damaged house was boarded up by fire fighters and was inspected by engineers

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