TORRENTIAL rain has caused traffic chaos for motorists in and around Wearside.
Heavy downpours overnight on Saturday and into yesterday meant a number of roads in Sunderland had to be closed by police.
The subway and footpath behind the Barnes Pub and a row of shops between Silksworth Lane was completely flooded by the deluge.
Pensioner Joan Hunter said she was stunned after waking up yesterday morning to see the stream behind her Frinton Park home, just off Silksworth Lane, Barnes, overflowing, leaving her back garden flooded.
The 79-year-old mother-of-two and grandmother-of-five told the Echo: “It’s very frightening to wake up and see something like a swimming pool out the back of your house.
“The stream must be six or seven feet deep now and there’s only a wooden fence between it and my back garden.
“With winter coming on, this is worrying.”
The A19 had to be closed at both north and southbound slip roads at the A690 turnoff at Doxford Park, after a car went into a ditch because of heavy surface water.
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “Police were called to the northbound A19 just before the A690 slip road near Burdon Farm at 7.33am yesterday, following reports of a car off the road.
“It’s believed the vehicle came off the road, which has standing water on it, and went into a ditch.
“It’s not believed that anyone was injured.”
A pond in Cleadon Village overflowed and began running onto the main road, as well as into the driveways of residents’ properties.
Police and road safety officers arrived at the scene to help clear the water.
There were also problems at the A19 junction with the A184 at Boldon Colliery, with drivers facing delays after water slowed traffic down.
Northumbria and Durham Police are advising motorists to allow extra time for their journey and make sure they leave plenty of distance from the vehicle in front.
The Environment Agency issued a flood alert for the Lower River Wear, between Escomb and Chester-le-Street, and the Met Office issued an amber flood warning for most of County Durham for today.
There is expected to be no let-up from the downpours in the coming days.
Heavy rain is expected across Sunderland and Durham today, with temperatures expected to reach highs of 8°C.