People have been forced to evacuate their homes due to a burst water main in a north London street.
The water main in Belsize Road, Camden, burst at 2.50am, causing flooding up to half a meter deep “over an area of around 800 metres”, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said.
Several homes were flooded, and firefighters had to carry around 20 people to safety. LFB said eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters attended the scene.
LFB Assistant Commissioner Andy Williams said: “There are significant road closures in place and we are asking people to avoid the area where possible.
– The water authorities are working to isolate the burst water pipe, and the fire service is expected to be on the scene for several hours. Crews are using flood barriers and a high-volume pumping unit to divert the floodwaters.”
Cody Dolcy-Grant, of Hilgrove Road, at the end of Belsize Road, told the PA news agency she woke up to scenes “like the Thames” outside.
“I wasn’t aware of the situation until 7am when I went to the toilet, realized the toilet wasn’t flushing and water wasn’t coming out of the taps,” said the 27-year-old, who is unemployed as a result of a health condition.
“My road was flooded … When I opened the front door, it was like a scene of horror – fire engines all up my road, police, ambulance, and then I looked to my left and it was like the Thames outside.”
Dolcy-Grant lives on the second floor of her building, so her home was not flooded, but she said she still had no water on at noon, while all the shops on her street were closed.
Footage shared on social media showed emergency services using small boats and helping residents wrapped in blankets to safety. A rest center has been set up at the nearby Swiss Cottage leisure centre.
Thames Water said: “We are working with the local emergency services to ensure the safety of all residents as a priority, while our engineers continue to turn off the pipe valves in the surrounding area.
“If your home has been flooded, we are so sorry, we know this must be very distressing. Our support teams are on their way to help customers experiencing low pressure or no water.”
PA Media contributed to this report