Tyneside floods return to cause chaos - GALLERY

FLOOD misery returned to the North East as victims of the last devastating flash flood were hit once again.

Fire crews rescue Shelly Burnham from flash flooding in Felling
Fire crews rescue Shelly Burnham from flash flooding in Felling

FLOOD misery returned to the North East as victims of the last devastating flash flood were hit once again.

Roads in the region ground to a halt at lunchtime yesterday as a huge thunderstorm brought back severe flooding.

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Victims of the immense June 28 storm were left distraught once again as torrential rain caused further flooding to their homes.

Families in the Felling area of Gateshead who were forced out of their homes during the last floods again found themselves victims of the weather.

Joanne Smith had just moved back into her home in Green Lane Gardens, Felling, with daughter Michaela, 20, and son Dean, 16, after flooding caused extensive damage back in June.

Yesterday 43-year-old Joanne was trapped in her home as flood water crept up to five feet outside her front and back door.

"The water has been coming through the sink," she said.

"We can not get out the back or front door because the water is about two inches from coming in the house. We just moved back in on Friday.

"I was due to go to work at 5pm at McDonalds but once again the flooding is getting in the way of my work. It’s terrible," she said.

Other families in the Felling area had to be rescued by the fire service as water reached up to five foot in some areas.

In Newcastle police were forced to again cordon off part of Chillingham Road in Heaton, Newcastle, as heavy flooding left cars in the area submerged in up to two feet of water.

The A1058 Coast Road at the Chillingham Road junction was also closed and the central motorway in Newcastle was badly affected.

Police advised motorists to avoid certain areas with a number of roads across the region closed, including the Felling bypass junction with Eastwood Gardens and Leam Lane between White Mare Pool and Lindisfarne roundabout.

Sudden blasts of heavy rainfall caused the A69, near Haltwhistle, Northumberland, to become impassable, leaving many motorists stranded.

The A69 was quickly submerged in water, and large amounts of mud on the road caused a further hazard for drivers.

Police immediately issued a warning advising drivers to avoid the area and diversions were put in place.

Chief Supt Gary Calvert, of Northumbria Police, said: "We are working closely with the other emergency services and partner agencies to plan and respond to any flooding."

The rain caused severe delays for drivers already on the A69, which is the main route across the country from Newcastle to Carlisle.

But flooding misery may not be over for some in the region as the Met Office warned of more torrential downpours today.

Dave Britton, weather forecaster at the Met Office, said: "There’s still the potential for showers through Monday across parts of North East England, but not as widespread as Sunday, although areas most at risk are in the east coast of England.

"There is the potential for further heavy rain and we have the potential to see up to 13mm of rain in a matter of hours in some places.

"Between then there could be some bright spells but when it does rain those showers are going to be heavy.

"Beyond that it is an improving picture as we head towards Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There will be less showers and perhaps some drier conditions across the region.

"I think what we have seen is because of intense rainfall and the drainage system not being able to cope."

The Metro service and bus services were also badly affected yesterday.

Surface water flooding caused Jesmond, Central Station and Gateshead Metro stations to be closed to the public for safety reasons. At one point the system was only operating between Heworth to South Hylton, the Airport to Monument, Monument to Tynemouth and St James to Wallsend.

Later in the day service did resume apart from problems between Bede and South Shields station.

A Metro spokesman said: "The heavy rain and flash flooding has caused large sections of the Metro system to be suspended. Staff have been working hard to repair the damage caused to trackside equipment by the water. We apologise for the delays."

The Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth was forced to close early due to the heavy downpours which flooded half the of aquarium.

Page 2 - Flash floods hit west Tynedale >>

Flash floods hit west Tynedale

FLASH flooding closed a main road and brought chaos to west Northumberland 24 hours before yesterday’s storm.

The A69 was flooded at Haltwhistle when torrential showers hit west Tynedale on Saturday afternoon.

Motorists were urged to avoid the area as the rain intensified. Then, following a mud-slip and rising water, the road was closed at Melkridge at 4.30pm.

Traffic on the eastbound A69 was diverted north to the Military Road, which was also difficult in parts.

It took two more hours to get the road cleared again as the sudden storm moved eastwards, gradually petering out before reaching Tyneside.

An early-afternoon Sunday thunderstorm briefly cut power in the Hexham area, but supplies were reconnected within minutes.

The flood in Haltwhistle was principally limited to the main road, although there were reports of minor town centre flooding.

Haltwhistle resident Maureen Hart and her husband Brian found themselves held up on the outskirts of the town after driving back north from a visit to the Olympics in London.

Maureen said: “When we got back to Hexham, there was a cloudburst and a big hold-up along the A69.

“Then we found out that the road ahead was badly flooded. We went into Melkridge and tried to get along there, but that was flooded too. In the end, we got into Haltwhistle, but the last few miles took an hour to drive.”

by Paul Tully


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