Counting the cost after Wisbech water main burst

Burst water main floods the cellars in the Three Tuns pub.The brown line shows the depth of water that flooded the cellar.
Burst water main floods the cellars in the Three Tuns pub.The brown line shows the depth of water that flooded the cellar.
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A WISBECH pub is counting the cost after a burst water main caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Seven feet of muddy water filled the cellar of the Three Tuns, in Norwich Road, after a water main in adjacent Duke Street burst on Sunday morning. The water also caused a section of the road to collapse.

Burst water main floods the cellars in the Three Tuns pub.Still smiling - Teresa Pope and Roger Harrison.

Burst water main floods the cellars in the Three Tuns pub.Still smiling - Teresa Pope and Roger Harrison.

Publicans Teresa Pope and Roger Harrison had to be evacuated from the pub amid concerns that the water had caused structural damage to the outside wall, but were allowed back in on Monday morning.

Teresa said the mess was “horrendous”, with two inches of thick, brown silt coating the floor.

“All the beer and pumps were in the cellar,” Teresa said. “They are all contaminated. There were three large freezers full of food. I had exercise equipment down there, as well as personal items. It’s all ruined.”

The pub will have to stay closed for as long as two weeks while a specialist team of seven cleaners deal with the mess.

Duke Street in Wisbech following a burst water main.

Duke Street in Wisbech following a burst water main.

There was a delay before the water was shut off at around 10.30am, despite the problem being reported at 7.15am. An Anglian Water spokesperson explained that their representative couldn’t use the proper valve to stop the water but had to close a total of four valves, cutting off the water supply to 150 properties.

The spokesperson said: “We apologise to all the customers who lost their supply. It was our utmost priority to get it restored. We are incredibly sorry for the pub that was flooded and will be working with them to get things back to normal as soon as possible.”

It is a small comfort to Teresa and Roger that Anglian Water will be footing the bill for repairs and compensation and the cleaners were due to start yesterday (Tuesday).

Local photographer Roger Rawson, who lives nearby, said his wife spotted the leak and reported it.

The flooded cellar in the Three Tuns, Wisbech

The flooded cellar in the Three Tuns, Wisbech

It was initially coming up through the pavement but then came up through the concrete in the road. The pressure of the water swept away the underlying soil, causing the road surface to cave in.