Cameras used to monitor North East flood-risk areas

Chester-le-Street flood camera Image copyright Environment Agency
Image caption Cameras have been installed in 12 areas, including Chester-le-Street in County Durham

Cameras have been installed to monitor water levels in areas in the North East at risk from winter flooding.

A total of 12 cameras have so far been installed near debris screens at sites including Middlesbrough, Chester-le-Street, Morpeth and Darlington.

The Environment Agency, which installed the cameras, said they would play a "key role" in responding to flooding.

In December a series of severe storms brought damaging floods to many parts of northern England.

The cameras feed real-time images to agency staff manning an incident room in Newcastle.

Image copyright Environment Agency
Image caption Many areas of the North East have suffered flooding, including Albert Park in Middlesbrough

An agency spokesman said: "We can now carry out real-time checks, helping us to cut down on unnecessary site visits and make sure we are concentrating on those areas where there's a risk.

"During a flood, every minute counts and we want to make sure that we are where we are needed to help reduce flood risk as quickly as possible."

The cameras have infra-red capability so they can take pictures at night and in some places are camouflaged to prevent vandalism.

Residents in flood-prone areas are also being encouraged to have a plan in place.

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