Flood risk for Sunderland, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear

A66 in snow Image copyright PA
Image caption The A66 between Scotch Corner and Bowes reopened on Sunday

There is a risk of flooding along a wide stretch of England's north-eastern coast, the Environment Agency has warned.

Flood warnings and alerts are in force from Northumberland down to Sunderland as the region starts to thaw.

The latter's pier wall was washed away on Saturday by strong winds and high waves, leaving extensive damage.

A 120ft (36m) stretch of the North Pier remains cordoned off. Police said there were no reported injuries.

Warnings which mean flooding is imminent are in place across the city, as well as in Whitley Bay, Cullercoats and Tynemouth.

Lesser flood alerts, which are issued when flooding is expected, have been issued for the Northumberland coast and the Tyne and Wear coast.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Lorries were stranded on the A1 between Morpeth and Alnwick

An agency spokesman said: "We urge people in these areas to stay safe and avoid coastal areas if possible and not drive through any resulting floodwater."

Major road routes including the A1 in Northumberland and the A66 between Scotch Corner and Bowes, have reopened after being blocked by snow.

The A1 was closed between Alnwick and the Scottish border on Thursday, leaving many drivers stuck for hours.

More 'Beast from the East' and Storm Emma stories:

Disruption continues as thaw begins

Not just snowmen: Wintry creations around England

The Lincolnshire villages cut off by snow

Although conditions are set to improve, some other roads across the region are still impassable, particularly in rural Northumberland and County Durham.

These include the A690 westbound from A19 up to Houghton-le-Spring.

The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team said volunteers had responded to more than 40 incidents since Wednesday, including the rescue of a family-of-four from the Netherlands who were stuck in snow at Carter Bar near the Scottish border.

Image copyright NNPMRT
Image caption The team's medical officer Jamie Pattinson was on hand to help stranded drivers

Volunteers further south with the Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team said they had been called on to assist district nurses make essential visits to patients.

They also helped paramedics reach an ill patient in the village of Westerdale, near Scarborough.

Image copyright Martin Emmerson
Image caption Part of the structure suffered minor damage earlier in the week

Virgin Trains East Coast said services north of Newcastle to Scotland had resumed and it planned to run a near-normal service between the north-east and London.

Passengers using Northern services had additional problems on Saturday because of a 24-hour strike by members of the RMT union over the introduction of driver-only trains.

The company said it had been forced to axe about 50% of services.

Northern Powergrid said it had managed to restore electricity to about 12,000 properties in the north-east.

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