Rodbourne neighbours are furious after a burst water main flooded their homes in the early hours.

A water main burst on Great Western Way at 6am yesterday leaving Meadow Road submerged.

The water forced the dual carriageway to close at 8am until it was cleared by 11am.

Claire Jones, who has lived in the area for the past 20 years, said she had to barricade her house to stop water getting in.

She explained: “At half six we had neighbours banging at the door and opened up to real carnage.

“Within an hour it was just through my neighbours property. It came into theirs and then almost in to ours.

“We did barricade the door and move things off the floor. It stemmed the water round the back so we had to barricade that just in case.”

When it came to the response from Thames Water, Claire was disappointed more support was not given to the neighbours.

She added: “I’m really disappointed with Thames Water. We’ve had no sandbags or anything.

“It’s really disappointing for this community and these houses. It could have been avoided if we had something to put down.”

Forty-year-old David Cousens, who lives with his wife Sarah and three daughters, said the majority of his downstairs flooring has been ruined, including his recently-converted garage.

“We were starting to panic,” David explained.

“So we barricaded the front door and back. Then we saw it just start coming through our entire house.

“We were very quickly trying to move stuff to stop it getting damaged.

“Various things have been trashed. Our carpet is ruined. We don’t know how much it’s going to cost but it’ll be a lot of money.”

David also pointed out the length of time Thames Water said it would take before someone could come to the site.

He said: “At 6.15am I contacted someone at Thames Water.

"Because I didn’t realise it was a burst main, I thought it was an overflowing drain, they said it would be 24-48 hours to fix.

“So I said ‘just a heads up, there’s a car across the street and the water is currently touching the bumper’ then they said it would be about four hours.

“But by 8am, the water was up to my doorstep.”

Also feeling the damage from the burst main was 83-year-old Doreen Hales and her 84-year-old husband Michael.

The couple woke up at their usual time to water coming into their conservatory.

Doreen said: “I thought there was a funny noise, so I pulled the curtain open and said ‘oh my God, we’re flooded’.

“It was gushing down through the fence and down the path.

“Michael’s had to isolate the plugs so we can have electricity in the rest of the house.”

For the couple, the issue comes more with how much the repairs are going to cost them.

“We’ve been on to our insurance but because it’s a water main, we have to pay the first £500 for the repairs.” said Doreen. "We can’t afford that, we only have our pensions.

"We’re both in our 80s and I just don’t know what to do.”

A Thames Water spokeswoman said: “We’re sorry to anyone disrupted.

“We know this has happened at an especially difficult time.

“Our engineers were quickly on the scene this morning to stop the burst, as well as work with the fire brigade to pump away any flood water.

“They’re now investigating the damage and preparing to get started on the repair.”