Teesside and County Durham flooding: Drivers face delays

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Media captionVideo courtesy of the RNLI

Motorists have faced long delays after surface water closed roads around Teesside and County Durham.

Drivers using the A19 and A66 were frustrated by closures caused by heavy rainfall overnight and long queues built up during the morning rush hour.

A clean up is under way in Stockton where many homes were flooded and families rescued by Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers.

Most schools reopened after closing early on Tuesday.

The Newtown and Hartburn areas of Stockton were badly affected.

'Had enough'

Kevin Morgan's home in Newtown was severely damaged.

He said: "The floor was floating, the three-piece suite was floating about and everything, all the cupboards.

"The fridge freezer ended up in the downstairs toilet. I've lived here 14 years and it's been close a few times. I've had enough now."

The RNLI's flood rescue team was called out to the Bishopton Road in Newtown on Tuesday night.

Power cuts

Gareth Wilson, RNLI training divisional inspector for the north, said: "We were working in an area where a beck had broken its banks, flooding nearby streets and homes.

"The people we have already rescued were distressed and very pleased to be taken out of their houses."

Mr Wilson said it was "shocking" to see the damage and distress the flooding had caused.

Image caption Water in this furniture store was "knee deep"

Boats were also used to transport gas engineers to suspected leaks in the area.

Many homes around the region were left without power, but Rodrick Stewart from Northern Powergrid said he hoped all would be restored by the end of Wednesday.

An emergency rest centre that was set up at the Splash Leisure Centre in Stockton has now closed.

In Stockton staff at a flooded furniture store were working long hours to clear the mess and salvage what they could.

Only display items at the Race For Furniture and Home Interiors stores at the Portrack Retail Park were affected.

Heavy showers pounded the region for more than 24 hours with a weather station in Bishop Auckland recording a month-and-a-half's worth of rain.

Travel delays

Cleveland Police took dozens of calls from worried homeowners requesting sandbags and had to direct callers to local DIY stores.

Rail passengers on the East Coast mainline are facing delays with services restricted between Northallerton and Darlington.

Several roads around the area remain closed, including the A66 between the Great Burdon Roundabout and Mill Lane junction from Darlington towards Middlesbrough.

Image caption Scorton Bridge in North Yorkshire has given way

The A1 which had been closed between junction 49 and 60 since Tuesday has no reopened southbound with an advisory 50mph speed limit in place. The northbound carriageway remains closed.

The Highways Agency said a lane of the A19 near Billingham had now reopened.

Drivers using the road south of Middlesbrough earlier on Wednesday reported journeys of three miles taking almost two hours.

Part of a bridge in Scorton, near Richmond has collapsed.

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