A picturesque market town’s historic streets have been ripped apart by flash floods after water ‘burst from the tarmac like geysers’. 

Parts of the town centre in leafy Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, had to close for safety reasons after the area was hit by thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon.

Pavements were torn up and parts of the road surface was washed away to leave behind sand while several businesses were flooded by the deluge.

The storm dropped almost 40mm of rain in just an hour, causing significant damage, including huge potholes which opened up on roads.

Shops along Brookend Street were forced to close their doors today after floodwater which ‘burst from the tarmac like geysers’ gushed into their stores.    

Pavements pictured badly damaged after flash floods on Sunday evening in in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

Pavements pictured badly damaged after flash floods on Sunday evening in in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

Workers pictured near the torn-up pavement in in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

Workers pictured near the torn-up pavement in in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

The storm dropped almost 40mm of rain in just an hour, causing significant damage, including huge potholes which opened up on roads

The storm dropped almost 40mm of rain in just an hour, causing significant damage, including huge potholes which opened up on roads

West Mercia Police warned Broad Street was closed due to the damage to the road surface and pavement while Herefordshire Council were on site this morning.

The Little Chic Children’s Clothes and Toys Boutique said: ‘Little Chic will be closed from tomorrow morning due to being flooded again.

‘Online order will be fulfilled if the stock is not damaged by the storm water – I will let customers know.

‘After having 12 weeks of gas works and water works outside the shop, we have this happening again.

‘Broad Street and Brookend Street will be shut off for some time.

‘I feel so bad for all the other lovely businesses affected.’

John, owner of Cheeky Tito’s takeaway restaurant which only opened on Broad Street in January, said: ‘We can’t even get inside the shop and have had no information yet on when we can.

Workers pictured putting up barriers after parts of the town centre in leafy Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, had to close for safety reasons

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Workers pictured putting up barriers after parts of the town centre in leafy Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, had to close for safety reasons

The storm dropped almost 40mm of rain in just an hour, causing significant damage, including huge potholes which opened up on roads

The storm dropped almost 40mm of rain in just an hour, causing significant damage, including huge potholes which opened up on roads

‘They are doing an inspection and we hope to hear later today what will happen next.’

Hanks’ Meat & Game said online: ‘Following the destruction today on Broad street, we are hoping we can still open the shop as normal tomorrow.

‘Sadly, the closure is affecting businesses from Dogs Trust down to Oxfam but the barrier is currently before our shop.

‘The road and pavement closure will massively affect businesses on the street but we wanted to keep you updated so as it stands we will be open tomorrow unless we hear otherwise.

‘If you do venture in then please go careful and please remember we offer a free home delivery service if you want to avoid the closures.’

An antique store was impacted so badly by water damage that it will have to throw away stock, the BBC reported.

Shops along Brookend Street were forced to close their doors today after floodwater which 'burst from the tarmac like geysers' gushed into their stores

Shops along Brookend Street were forced to close their doors today after floodwater which ‘burst from the tarmac like geysers’ gushed into their stores

Sand pictured after it was washed down the street after water gushed under block paving

Sand pictured after it was washed down the street after water gushed under block paving

Andy Worrall, from Now and Then Antiques told BBC Hereford & Worcester:  ‘We got most of the water out but it has left us with a sodden floor and everything on it is soaking wet.’

‘Most of the carpets are beyond repair, it will take an age to dry those out.

‘The furniture has soaked up a lot of the water so I am afraid we are going to have to bin quite a lot of it.’

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Town and county councillor Ed O’Driscoll, of Herefordshire Council, said: ‘It’s been a truly awful event that has caused significant amounts of damage.

‘Broad Street is the main artery through the town and the water has essentially got underneath the block paving.

‘It has then washed the sand down the street, blocking the drains and causing the water to build up at the bottom, flooding the businesses down there.

‘It has left all of the pavement completely without any underpinning. The water was spurting through the tarmac like geysers.

‘It has left behind what looks like a beach. We had something like 50mm of rain in an hour.

‘I was there yesterday and one workman put his foot through the pavement as there’s now nothing supporting it underneath.

‘An Environment Agency area manager just said no drains in the country could withstand that kind of rainfall. So what hope do we have?

More damaged pavement pictured) as piles of bricks were placed next to the torn-up path

More damaged pavement pictured) as piles of bricks were placed next to the torn-up path

Water pictured pooling in a hole in another section of damaged path

Water pictured pooling in a hole in another section of damaged path 

‘So this could be an indicator of things to come in other areas. It is certainly very concerning.’

Another Councillor Daniel Lister added last night: ‘I am so so sorry to everyone that has been and will be affected by tonight’s heavy down pour, there is a full road closure in place from the market house to Aldi in Brookend Street currently.

‘Our local traders will need our support more then ever, Balfour are on site currently making plans on the clear up and repairs and there will an emergency inspection taking place tomorrow early morning, all 3 County Councillors are absolutely on the case.

‘Some businesses have been affected and if I can personally do anything to help please do reach out.

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‘Safety please note, do not cross any barriers or enter closed off areas as parts of the walkways and roads are deemed unsafe.’

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