FLOODS of water gushed down Ormesby Bank, Middlesbrough, during rush-hour traffic yesterday morning after a water main was hit by a crane.

Police directed motorists along the hill as water rushed past them into the gardens and drives of nearby homes, eventually spilling on to slip roads leading to the A174 Parkway towards Middlesbrough.

A spokesman for Northumbrian Water said a heavy crane had gone on to a dirt track and crushed a 12-in water main at about 8.30am.

"The weight of the crane burst the main and the water hit a hill and escaped and ran down the hill," he said.

"As far as I know, it just got to people's drives and gardens. I'm not aware of anyone having to be evacuated."

He said Northumbrian Water staff had arrived at the scene shortly after being alerted, but had difficulty locating the correct main, because there were two others in the area.

"We had to find out which it was and then close it down, which we did pretty rapidly. We were then able to bring in water to customers from another route.

"We will repair the main as and when we can get the crane removed."

The leak was stopped by 11am.