UK water shortage forces schools to close while 12,000 homes are left without supplies as the big thaw causes frozen pipes to burst in the aftermath of Storm Emma

The UK water crisis has forced schools to close today as 12,000 homes are left without supplies after frozen pipes burst during Storm Emma.

Dunraven School in Streatham, south London, and Brize Norton in Oxfordshire are just two who shut their doors on Monday morning.

It comes after water companies urged homeowners to use as little water as possible after the extreme weather conditions affected supplies across the capital and south east.

Thames Water said around 12,000 homes were left with no running water following the recent deep freeze and thaw.

Four companies – Thames Water, South East Water, Southern Water and Affinity Water – told customers who do have running water only to use it where essential.

In a joint statement, they said: ‘Where possible, take short showers rather than baths, do not leave taps running unnecessarily and only run washing machines and dish washers when you have a full load. This will make a real difference.’

A tweet from the Dunraven School said: ‘We’d hoped things would have been resolved by now. No water on either site means we can’t open the school. We will update families when we can.’

The barrage of snow which struck the UK last week may be thawing in many parts, but the repercussions are still being felt across the country.

A flood warning is in force for parts of Halesworth in Suffolk, with rainfall and melting snow causing danger.

Meanwhile 33 flood alerts are in place, largely concentrated in the west of England and Wales.

On the rail network, there are warnings of disruption to Arriva Trains Wales, cancellations on some Great Yarmouth to Norwich services run by Greater Anglia, as well as early morning Glasgow Central to London Euston services on Virgin Trains.

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