NEIGHBOURS dug deep to save their homes from flooding after they were threatened by a burst water main.

Residents on Daws Heath Road, Thundersley, rushed to dig trenches to prevent the water hitting their homes after a 12-inch pipe burst.

Ross Bonney was woken by his neighbour hammering on his front door on Friday morning to find that the land in front of his home was drenched and was spreading towards his back garden. He quickly got dressed and then dug large ditches out of the front of his and his neighbours homes to stop the water getting closer.

Mr Bonney, 50, said: “I couldn’t believe it. When you hear someone at the front door at 5am you know something is wrong but I looked outside and water was cascading past our homes. It was the only thing I could do to dig up some of the front garden to stop the water doing even more damage to our homes.

“There is a lot of damage and the conservatory is flooded but thankfully we are insured. I don’t know how we are going to salvage everything though.”

There are two water pipes on Daws Heath Road. The six-inch water pipe provides water to the homes on the road and the 12-inch water pipe feeds directly to the Canvey Island reservoir.

Tom Voice, a water technician from Crossglade Ltd who are contracted by Essex & Suffolk Water, said at the scene: “We were called at just after 8am and it is plain to see there is a lot to do. I cannot tell how long we will be here but it will be a while. The residents did well to build water traps and limit some of the damage but we have a lot of work on our hands.”