The centre of a London suburb woke up under at least two feet of water this morning after a burst water main caused chaos.

Firefighters and paramedics were called to Herne Hill in south London at 5.30am this morning after water began rising above waist height.

Cars, bus stops and shops are half-submerged at the junction of Herne Hill and Half Moon Lane, where people in 36 homes were stuck.

Residents have been forced to stay indoors while other trying to get to work waded through the flood carrying people on their backs.

 
Boat rescue: Firefighters in a boat on Herne Hill this morning after a water main burst

Boat rescue: Firefighters in a boat on Herne Hill this morning after a water main burst

 

 
Submerged: The water has risen to an astonishing level in a short period, leaving cars stricken

Submerged: The water has risen to an astonishing level in a short period, leaving cars stricken

 
Deluge: The Metropolitan Police's helicopter was over the flood zone this morning and warned people to avoid the area until it is cleared

Deluge: The Metropolitan Police’s helicopter was over the flood zone this morning and warned people to avoid the area until it is cleared

 

 
 
 
Flooding in Herne Hill
A bin is floating along in the water on Herne Hill
 

Shock: A deluge of water has hit the London suburb while Thames Water tried to find where it came from and shut it off

 
Floating along: This photo taken from the ground shows the fire brigade moving their boat across the flood

Floating along: This photo taken from the ground shows the fire brigade moving their boat across the flood

The fire service even brought in a boat to help deal with the emergency.

Thames Water said it is trying to find the leak but the ‘complex’ water system there is making it difficult.

‘We were called by the London Fire Brigade and are on the scene trying to find the leak.

‘A 3ft-wide water pipe burst in Herne Hill at the junction of Half Moon Lane at around 5am today. This has caused substantial flooding to the road and 36 properties in the area. We’re really sorry to affected customers and we are working hard to put things right as quickly as possible.  Our main priority is to get people’s lives and businesses back to normal.

‘Our loss adjusters are en route and will soon be talking to people to get the insurance process under way.

‘Customers should all still have water running through their taps as we have managed to re-route our network.

‘It is quite a complex system, but we think we have found it and are trying to shut it off and stop the flooding’.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman added: ‘A burst water main has caused flooding to 150 metres of street. We have requested 200 sandbags.’ 


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