Homes lose power as gales batter Hartlepool and East Durham

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HARTLEPOOL and East Durham were facing more weather disruption as gale-force winds battered the coast.

Thousands of people woke up on Friday to find winds had wreaked havoc with wheelie bins and rubbish strewn all over streets.
Some fences had even been brought down by the winds, which reached speeds of up to 50mph.

Hundreds of homes were left without power in the Trimdon area.

Northern Powergrid engineers were called in to look at a problem affecting 1,400 homes in the TS29 Trimdon postcode area.

The power cut was reported around 12.15pm on Friday.

A Northern Powergrid spokesman said: “We have staff on site investigating at the moment and the power is expected to be restored by 2.15pm.

“We suspect it’s wind-related, our guys are walking along the route of the overhead cables to see if they can find anything.

“Sometimes we can remotely switch people back on, but unfortunately that is not possible and we apologise for any inconvenience.”

An amber tidal flood alert remains in place for Hartlepool and the surrounding area, with the Tees Estuary at risk of flooding from a breach in the Environment Agency’s embankment on the south bank of Greatham Creek at Seal Sands.

The Environment Agency is still working to repair the breach, which was caused by the storm surge on December 5.

Agency bosses say localised flooding in the area of the breach is possible around high tide.

The A178 Tees Road was re-opened on Christmas Eve but will close on January 6 when works to repair the breach will resume.

Light showers are predicted for Friday afternoon.

Sun is expected for Saturday and Sunday, with wind gusts peaking at 27mph on Saturday morning but no gusts expected on Sunday and Monday.

But the gales are due to return on Tuesday, with gust speeds reaching 39mph.