Environment Agency issues flood warnings as Storm Desmond brings heavy rain

The Environment Agency has issued hundreds of flood warnings.
The Environment Agency has issued hundreds of flood warnings.
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Residents and businesses in the North East are being urged to check flood warnings as Storm Desmond brings heavy rain to the region.

By mid-afternoon, there were more than 150 Environment Agency flood warnings in place in England and Wales - more than a dozen in the North East, with the Tyne Valley worst affected.

Flooding has already been reported in the Hexham and Corbridge areas, and some properties close to the river are being evacuated.

Warnings are also in place for the River South Tyne at Haltwhistle, Slaggyford, Lambley and Haydon Bridge.

Rain is expected to continue for much of the day, affecting the river North and South Tyne, the upper reaches of the River Wear and the lower Tees.

Environment Agency staff have been working around the clock to check and maintain flood defences, clear blockages, keep screens clear and monitor water levels.

Flood gates at Yarm on Teesside and Croft near Darlington have been closed this morning.

The Environment Agency’s Paul Constantine said: “The heavy rain overnight has led to high river levels across the north east, and with more rain expected there is a risk of flooding.

“We’ve had teams out on the ground overnight monitoring river levels and removing blockages from screens to keep the rivers flowing, and we’re working closely with our partners.

“It’s vital people keep up to date with the latest flood warning information. There are currently flood warnings in place and more are expected throughout today.

“People are advised to stay away from swollen rivers and if you are travelling, check the flood risk before you set off.

"The public should not attempt to drive through flood water – 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.”

Residents and businesses are advised to be prepared and check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation HERE or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

They can also stay up to date by following @EnvAgencyYNE and #floodaware on Twitter.