Damage by ‘geyser’ could cost tens of thousands of pounds

The burst water main on The Broadway
The burst water main on The Broadway

The two homes most badly affected by the spectacular water leak in Market Harborough will cost tens of thousands of pounds to repair, the Mail has been told.

At one of the homes, householder Richard Lane said: “We’re devastated. This house is full of my joinery, which took me hundreds of hours to do.

“We’ve got difficult decisions to make about where to draw the line and about how much we want ripped out and replaced, but it will cost tens of thousands to put things right.”

Next-door, Mr David Tink told the Mail: “My whole house, from the curtains in the bedroom to the carpet in the living room is now soaking wet.”

Retired Mr Tink (70) and his partner Joyce Gerlach (84) have actually had to move out of their house, because it is so badly water-damaged.

The whole house has been gutted, and is filled with drying equipment supplied by Severn Trent.

“When it comes to water damage, if my house is a five out of 10, David’s is pretty much a 10 out of 10” said Mr Lane.

The water leak happened on The Broadway, Market Harborough, in the early hours of Tuesday, September 8.

At first it battered against the underside of Mrs Anita Lane’s car.

The £20,000 car has just been declared an insurance write-off, even though Mrs Lane moved it before the leak was as its worst.

A tower of water more than 40 feet high then sprang out of the road and crashed down for at least four hours on the roofs of two local houses in particular.

Locals including Mr Lane are now asking why Severn Trent took so long to turn the water off.

The difference in the damage between the Lanes’ house and Mr Tink’s is down to the roofs.

Mr Lane replaced his roof recently; Mr Tink’s is fundamentally the original 1920s roof.

Mr Lane is a very talented woodworker in his spare time; he showed The Mail the painstaking bespoke shelving, cupboards, wardrobes and bathroom he has made himself over the years he has lived in the house.

No one can really say how wet the walls are behind all the wood.

“Basically it’s how much can we keep?” he said. “Do we really have to rip it all out?

“There’s been so much upheaval and so much stress with this. We’re completely and utterly devastated about it all.”