Fire crews called in after burst water main creates "river" in Kennington, TfL warns of severe delays to buses across south London

Catherine Neilan
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Eyewitnesses and TfL described the Kennington flood as having created "a new river" (Source: George Maudsley/Twitter)
Update: Around 15 properties have been flooded by the burst water main in Kennington, south London, which has been finally been brought under control.
But that hasn't stopped travel disruption, with TfL warning that bus routes and drivers were still being caught in severe delays throughout Vauxhall, Pimlico, Stockwell, Camberwell, Old Kent Road, Elephant & Castle, Brixton and London Bridge.
The road between Kennington Road and Newington Butts had surface water half a metre deep after a water main burst this morning, causing travel chaos during rush hour this morning. Some local residents have been without water all day, while others have had to put up with low pressure.
London Fire Brigade was called at 9:12am to deal with the volume of water. At its height there were 10 fire engines and 72 firefighters and officers from Lambeth, Brixton, Clapham, Homerton, Old Kent Road, Dowgate, Dockhead, Tottenham and West Hampstead attending the incident, which had been tackled by 1:45pm.
Fire crews placed sandbags in front of around 15 shops and homes to protect them from the flood, while water pumps were being used to suck water from the flooded basements of a number of properties along Kennington Park Road.
Station Manager Gareth Cook, who was at the scene, said: "A 20 inch water main burst and surface water flooded 200 metres of Kennington Park Road to half a metre deep.
"Fire crews carried out pumping operations, placed sand bags by affected properties and used booms to guide floodwater down drains. Around 15 properties were flooded along Kennington Park Road."

Transport for London described it as “a new river” on Kennington Park Road, resulting in huge traffic delays and disruption to several bus routes, including diversions for routes 3, 59, 133, 155, 159, 333 and 415.

The busy road was completely closed off from rush hour until well into the afternoon. Shortly before 5pm, TfL revealed the extent of the disruption:
As these videos and pictures show, the description of it as a river was not an exaggeration.
Thames Water said: "We apologise to customers in the SE and SW areas who may have no water or low pressure. This is due to a burst on one of our larger water mains in Kennington Park Road, SE11.

"We're working as fast as we can to stop the flooding.

"Kennington Park Road is currently closed in both directions between Kennington Oval and Kennington Station, diversions are in place.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused."

Darren Merril, cabinet member for environment and public realm at Southwark Council, added:"Our main priority is still identifying and assisting any vulnerable residents who may still be experiencing difficulties while full repairs are carried out and water is restored. Two libraries and nine schools in Southwark have closed.

"We know what an inconvenience this is for many people, especially in this hot weather, and Thames Water has assured us they are doing all they can to fix the pipe.”

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