Fire services in the North East test flood response

Fire services in the North East of England are taking part in exercises to test new flood strategies.

They will simulate emergencies to test plans drawn up after severe rainfall caused damage put at £100m in 2008.

The exercises are at Hurworth Burn Reservoir and Middleton St George in County Durham, and Rothbury and Otterburn in Northumberland.

The regional flood rescue and damage prevention project now means there are five swift water rescue teams.

New equipment includes inflatable boats, rescue sleds, "alternative sandbags" and more equipment for high volume pumps.

The tests include rescuing people trapped on the roof of a mini bus in high water, the evacuation of a flooded caravan site and the removal of floodwater from a major road.

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