Burst Hereford water main leaves thousands without supplies

Image caption,
The flooding extended from Hoarwithy Road to the junction with Winston Road up to the Pastures, said Hereford Highways

A burst water main has left about 5,000 customers across Hereford experiencing problems with their supplies.

Five schools were forced to close after damage to a pipe on Hoarwithy Road at 01:00 GMT, which also caused localised flooding.

Welsh Water apologised for the disruption and said the supply had now been fixed.

"Customers should start to see their supplies restored in to this evening and overnight," a spokesman added.

Affected properties are in the Belmont, Newton Farm, Redhill and Whitecross, Kings Acre, Putson, Hinton and Hunderton areas to the south of the city.

Image caption,
The pipe burst at 01:00 GMT, but has now been repaired

Many customers discovered discoloured water and a lack of supply when they woke up.

"It was fine before I went to bed, woke up this morning, no coffee, not impressed," local resident Linda told the BBC. "I only found out through Facebook."

Sharon Taylor said she received a phone call from the company at 02:30, but had lost a day's pay because her car was stuck behind the cordon and she could not get to work.

The company has said that emergency repairs were "challenging" because of a high-voltage electricity cable near to the damaged main.

Riverside Primary, Marlbrook Primary, St Martin's Primary, Hereford Academy key stage three classes and Blackmarston Schools were all closed to pupils today.

Image caption,
Hoarwithy Road, Hereford, was closed to allow the water firm to carry out emergency repairs

Herefordshire Council urged drivers not to try and drive through the floodwater.

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Bottle water collection points were set up by Welsh Water and the company said it had also delivered bottles to vulnerable customers.

It advised people to check its social media pages for news.

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