‘Biblical’ storms causing disruption

THUNDERSTORMS have caused flooding and traffic disruption across the North East.

Heavy rain has caused problems throughout the region as storms headed south along the coast.

The deluge is expected to hit Hartlepool this evening before the weather lightens during the night.

Northumbria Police issued warnings to drivers to take care because of the treacherous driving conditions and standing water.

Officers have received reports of localised flooding around Haltwhistle, Greenhead Bank and generally along the A69 and A68 in Northumberland.

“Drivers are advised to take extra care when travelling, reduce their speed and exercise caution on the roads that are affected,” a spokesman said.

As the evening rush hour got under way, roads around Newcastle were underwater.

The Environment Agency tweeted a photo of the flooded road outside their Newcastle office, which is close to the Tyne.

Twitter-user Lyndsey Beckwith tweeted a photo of cars struggling through the water along the Quayside in Newcastle, with the caption “This thing is biblical #megastorm”.

Black clouds covered parts of the North East as heavy summer storms passed over.

The National Rail Enquiries twitter feed reported: “Flooding and landslips are causing heavy delays on routes between Northern England and Scotland, with very limited travel options”.

Flooding forced Newcastle railway station to close and severe problems on the Tyne and Wear Metro service.

The huge Hoppings fair in Newcastle was closed - having already had its opening postponed from Friday to Sunday - because of the weather.

Dramatic footage of water shooting up into the air after a manhole cover came off in Dean Street, Newcastle, was posted on Facebook.

Newcastle City Council said it would use the hashtag #toonflood on its messages about how the storm was affecting the area.

Beckwith, 24, who lives on Newcastle Quayside, said: “I was in my flat when it went really dark.

“I heard a noise like a barrel being dropped in one of the pubs, then I looked outside and saw thunder and lightning and the heavens just opened.

“We were right in the eye of the storm.

“I have heard there’s flooding all over Newcastle.”

National Rail said there were major delays between York and Edinburgh.

It said flooding and a landslip caused disruption near Berwick-upon-Tweed and flooding was also causing disruption between Durham and Newcastle.

There were no trains between Durham and Berwick-upon-Tweed, and there was a half-hourly service between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh.

Flooding near Haltwhistle in Northumberland meant there were no trains between Hexham, also in Northumberland, and Carlisle in Cumbria.