A BURST water main caused severe flooding in the centre of Colchester on Friday night, leaving a number of homes and businesses without water.

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Police said 16 homes had to be evacuated after the incident, which happened at a roundabout around 7.30pm.

Officers and fire crews were called to the scene at the junction of Maldon Road, Balkerne Hill and Southway when water began spurting from the ground. The flooding was reported to be two-feet deep.

Council officials used around 150 sandbags while an emergency rest centre was set up for residents of the homes which had to be evacuated.

Motorists had to find alternative routes around the affected areas as road closures were put in place.

A spokesman for Anglian Water confirmed around 10.30pm the water main had been located and shut off.

He added: “Engineers will be back at first light - they’ll dig it out and fix it. But everybody should be back on water now.”

Engineers closed off valves to isolate the main, allowing water to be restored to the affected properties.

He said the inside lane of the roundabout is likely to be shut on Saturday and Sunday while the problem is fixed.

The utility firm had calls from CO1, CO2 and CO3 about water supply.

Colchester Borough Council’s Peter Ferguson who was at the scene, said: “We’ve used about 100 sandbags and we’re about to go and get 50 more.

“As long as they hold we should be okay.”

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