MOTORISTS are facing 10-mile queues on a stretch of dual carriageway hit by floods.
Drivers travelling north-bound towards Hartlepool on the A19 are facing dead-lock conditions caused by flood hit delays at Billingham.
The delays were caused by the mammoth amount of rain which fell yesterday leaving the Billingham and Norton turn-offs on the dual carriageway impassible.
Police say delays on the A19 have seen traffic queuing from Billingham all the way to Crathorne, near Yarm , a distance of more than 10 miles.
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said traffic is moving more freely on the southbound carriageway.
Emergency services faced a busy 24 hours yesterday as a reported months worth of rain fell in just one day.
It saw roads closed, homes and businesses flooded and communities cut off as minor roads became heavily flooded.
Cleveland Police declared a “major incident” due to the extreme weather conditions experienced throughout Teesside, with the worst in Stockton where homes were evacuated due to rising flood levels.
A seven-strong RNLI Flood Rescue Team, which had members from Hartlepool, Redcar and Staithes and Runswick, was sent out at 7pm last night to help rescue people from flooded homes in Stockton.
There was also heavy flooding on roads around Elwick and Dalton, on the outskirts of Hartlepool.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Members of the public are urged not to take unnecessary journeys wherever possible however if a journey is necessary then people should be aware that their journey may take longer and to drive extremely carefully.”
Yesterday’s chaos saw cars abandoned in Station Town and homeowners in Wingate, Peterlee, Wheatley Hill and Easington were left flooded, with firefighters working round-the-clock to pump away water and provide sandbags.
Fire crews from Hartlepool were called to help a woman whose car got stuck in a huge pool of water in Brenda Road, Hartlepool, around 10am yesterday.
Her Jaguar car had got stuck in a flood of water caused by the heavy rainfall and the crew from Stranton Fire Station pushed the vehicle from the water as many major roads around the town were closed to motorists due to flooding.
Firefighters from Peterlee Fire Station were called to the Haswell to Shotton road where a man’s car became stuck in water. Crews who helped free the stricken driver said the water was “half-way up the car”.
The A19 northbound carriageway from Wolviston was closed yesterday from 3.30am to 9.30am, with traffic being forced to either travel through Hartlepool or past Wynyard to the A1.
The A179 was shut, as was the A19 up to Castle Eden, while the A689 was also closed in the early hours of the morning and re-opened around 10am.
Inspector Dave Coxon, of Peterlee Police, added: “My team has been dealing with the traffic concerns and trying to get people through the affected areas.
“We have had a lot of reports of flooding through many areas of East Durham, mainly in Hutton Henry and Wingate.”
Hutton Henry Primary School was closed yesterday due to flooding on local roads but was set to open today.
Met Office experts predicted that the weather today would be better than yesterday with both showers and sunshine.
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