Over the worst of weather? Hartlepool and East Durham escape havoc caused by storms

The sea at Hartlepool's Headland

The sea at Hartlepool's Headland

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HARTLEPOOL and East Durham look set to escape the worst of the weather that has caused havoc up and down the country.

Forecasters nicknamed severe weather conditions earlier this week “Wild Wednesday” as hurricane force gales and flooding lashed several parts of the UK.

One 71-year-old man died of suspected electrocution while trying to clear a tree that had been brought down by power cables in Wiltshire.

And Crewe Railway Station was evacuated and closed after high winds blew part of the roof off and brought power lines down.

An East Coast service train had to be hauled to Edinburgh after the locomotive’s arm which connects to overhead power cables was ripped off near Northallerton, in North Yorkshire, stranding North-East passengers for more than two hours.

But closer to home, the Hartlepool Mail circulation area looks to have got off lightly with minimal reports of damage caused by storms.

Winds in Hartlepool and East Durham reached around 40mph on Wednesday night, bringing down trees in residential areas.

Cleveland Police received reports of a tree partially blocking the road in Masefield Road, in the Rift House area of Hartlepool, around 11pm and the tree was removed.

Police also received a call at 10.20pm of a tree blocking the road near the Catcote Road and Wooler Road junction.

Durham Police were called to the A689 at Sedgefield, near the junction with Butterwick Road, after a HGV was blown over.

A Durham Police spokesman said: “There were no significant reports of any damage and no major road closures.

“The only incident of note was an HGV on the A689 at Sedgefield which was blown over by a strong gust of wind.”

The driver was not inside the vehicle at the time and it is thought the HGV was parked in a lay-by, so no road closures were needed after the incident, which happened around 9.50pm.

The recovery of the vehicle took place yesterday lunchtime as conditions were too windy on the night and it wasn’t causing an obstruction.

Meanwhile, as reported in yesterday’s Mail, five members of the Green and Blue watches at Peterlee Fire Station have been deployed to help with floods in the south of the country.

They were sent with their high volume pump (HVP), which can pump 8,000 litres of water a minute, to a base in Barnet on Wednesday but yesterday helped with rising water in Royal Berkshire, along with a boat crew from the Bishop Auckland Fire Station.

Robin Turnbull, group manager for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The crew was initially at Barnet but was mobilised to Royal Berkshire.

“They have been pumping all the water to lower-lying areas and making sure there is no down-stream flooding.”

The forecast for today looks a lot more settled, with light rain, 10mph winds and maximum temperatures of 5C.

Tomorrow will be cloudy with maximum temperatures of 8C and 15mph winds and Sunday looks set to be sunny with 18mph winds and maximum temperatures of 7C.