THIS WEEK IN 1973: Gush-hour traffic caught in floods

Hampshire police, with their shoes and socks off, direct traffic away from the floods.
Hampshire police, with their shoes and socks off, direct traffic away from the floods.

About a million gallons of water flooded Portsbridge roundabout after a water main was fractured – delaying rush hour traffic by more than an hour. 

A team of men from Portsmouth Water Company fought to turn off valves to stop water gushing from the 24-inch main. 

The main was fractured where contractors were pile-driving as part of the M27 flyover works, and the flood brought traffic from all directions to a halt. 

‘It was just like an oil gush,’ said Mr Sivyer, an onlooker from Cosham. 

‘It even lifted rocks into the air. 

‘Two men who were standing on the site were lifted off their feet and made a run for it.’

The flood was three feet deep in places.

It took three days for the main to be repaired and for the road to return to normal.