Nine schools were closed yesterday and 2,000 residents were left without water after a burst water pipe caused chaos to one of Birmingham’s major highways.
Work to repair the pipe in north Birmingham, which flooded the Lichfield Road and Cuckoo Lane in Aston, was expected to continue this morning after 24 hours of distruption.
Up to 2,000 calls were received by Severn Trent from distressed householders left without water.
There were reports of 12-mile tailbacks as drivers heading into the city centre during rush-hour were diverted by police who had blocked the road at Salford Circus beneath Spaghetti Junction, for safety reasons.
Motorists on the M6 as far north as Manchester were warned of the slow down on the approach to Birmingham.
Early eye-witnesses said the road, which was flooded with 2ft of water, had turned into a “river” within seconds, forcing some drivers to abandon their cars.
Severn Trent began repair work on Thursday evening but were unsure of how long it would take to restore the site.
A spokeswoman said: “The burst on the 24-inch trunk main was reported at 7.45am, and many customers contacted the company to report a loss of water supplies.”
Residents had their water supplies restored by the afternoon.
Severn Trent’s senior operations manager Fraser Pithie added: “All our customers should now have had their supplies restored. A few may experience some poor pressure but this will only be temporary, and is nothing for them to worry about.”
“We’d like to apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused by the burst pipe and thank people for their patience and understanding.”
According to Severn Trent, repairs are expected to take at least a week to safely complete and further work will be needed to reinstate the damaged surfaces.
Traffic will be able to continue to use the Lichfield Road while the repairs are completed.
A Birmingham City council spokesman said the schools were closed due to a lack of water supply. They would be re-opened once engineers had completed repair work to the burst pipe, which was not yet known. The nine schools affected were; St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School in Nechells; Nechells Primary School, Nechells; Cromwell Primary School, Nechells; Deykin Avenue Primary in Witton; Hodge Hill Girls School; Hodge Hill Primary School; and Manor Park School in Aston.