A COMPANY boss is being hailed a hero after rescuing an elderly neighbour suffering from dementia as her home became flooded in this week’s storm.
Paul Jackson, who is managing director of Washington firm PDQ Engineering, raised the alarm as water poured into the 89-year-old’s home, off Sunderland Road, in Cleadon, South Tyneside.
The deluge, the worst September storm in 30 years, caused chaos.
Mr Jackson says he has already spent £70,000 on new drainage at his home following previous flooding incidents.
Mr Jackson, 46, said: “There was three inches of water in my home, and I realised the lady next door would have real problems.
“I knocked on her door at 5am and by the time she got up, there was 18 inches of water in her bungalow.”
The lady has now been moved into an old people’s home.
Emergency maintenance teams worked around the clock to cope with problems from the floods.
About 50 homes had to be evacuated in Hetton, Houghton and Washington with residents struggling to cope as the rain continued to fall.
The torrential downpour saw the River Wear burst its banks at Fatfield, in Washington, Durham City and Chester-le-Street.
A number of Wearside schools were forced to shut for the day and sections of busy commuter roads, including the A1 and A19 were closed.
Passengers on the Tyne and Wear Metro system also faced long delays as did those using East Coast Main Line trains.
Thankfully the bad weather eased off on Wednesday, with brighter skies returning to Wearside yesterday.
Health bosses say that blood stocks have been affected by flooding disruption as demand from hospitals continues.
Jon Latham, assistant director at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We need those donors who are able to reach their local sessions to continue to do so.
“If you have an appointment please try to keep it and if, for some reason, you cannot attend please rebook your appointment as soon as possible.
“We’re particularly asking O Rh negative and B Rh negative donors, who are eligible to donate, to make an appointment now to come give blood or just come along to a session during the coming week.
People who want to give blood or register to be a donor should ring the Donor Helpline on 0300 123 2323 or go to www.blood.co.uk.