Updated: Thousands of homes in York were left without water on one of the wettest days of the year after a burst main caused a surprise winter drought.

Supplies to houses across the north of the city were shut off for several hours yesterday lunchtime, following problems with a pipe running along Wigginton Road.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire Water was today expected to fix a smaller burst in a pipe at the corner of The Village and Church Lane in Wigginton.

The second burst combined with overflowing drains caused by torrential rain, sent water gushing on to nearby Ascot Road yesterday afternoon, although it did not affect residents’ supplies.

The Wigginton Road burst led to residents in Haxby, Wigginton, Strensall, Rawcliffe, Huntington and Earswick village being unable to turn on their taps for about two hours while engineers from Yorkshire Water were called to the scene to carry out repairs.

They re-zoned the local water network to ensure the supply to the affected properties came back into use between 2pm and 2.30pm after the company was inundated with calls from worried homeowners.

The problem, spotted at about midday, led to bottled water flying off the shelves in nearby supermarkets and shops as residents hastily stockpiled supplies.

The cause is still unknown and Yorkshire Water teams were yesterday trying to identify and fix the glitch.

Betty Baker, of Earswick, said: “I was going out for lunch with some friends, and when I went to the bathroom just before midday to get ready, there was no water.” Her home was among those hit by the temporary shutdown.

“I went outside and people were walking helplessly around, asking what was happening and if other houses were affected. We were worried we might be without water for the rest of the day.”

Another Earswick resident said: “It’s quite ironic that the rain meant there was water everywhere and our gardens were sopping wet, but we didn’t have enough to make a cup of tea.”

A Yorkshire Water spokeswoman said: “There was a burst in an 18-inch pipe under a grass verge by the side of Wigginton Road which was reported to us at about 12.30pm when we started getting lots of calls from customers.

“Engineers were sent to the site and isolated the section where the problem occurred before re-zoning the supply around the pipe network.

“This allowed us to concentrate on the problem while ensuring customers’ supplies were working, which is extremely important to us.

“We believe quite a few thousand customers were affected and we are looking to fix the problem as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank those who contacted us for bringing it to our attention so quickly.”

City river levels on increase

HEAVY rain on high ground in North Yorkshire has led to flood alerts being put in place in York – amid warnings that river levels in the city are set to rise.

The Environment Agency issued flood warnings on the stretches of the River Ouse through the city centre and at Naburn Lock yesterday as downpours continued to lash the region.

Yesterday evening, the levels at Kings Staith, Queens Staith, South Esplanade and New Walk had reached 2.57m (8 ft 5inches).

Meanwhile at Naburn Lock, the levels had risen to 2.1m (6ft 8ins).

The Environment Agency has warned that homes and businesses should be on their guard against potential flooding as water flows into the Ouse from its tributaries further upstream in the Pennines.

“Further rain is forecast, and this will see river levels slowly rise,” said a spokeswoman for the agency.

Weather forecasters were last night predicting more wet weather for North Yorkshire throughout today and on Wednesday, although sunny intervals are expected tomorrow.

Have you been affected by flooding? Send us your stories and pictures to newsdesk@thepress.co.uk or text 80360, making you sure you start your message with the word YORK.