Roads closed and classes cancelled as weather causes chaos in Sunderland

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TORRENTIAL rain has battered Wearside overnight.

One lane of the A19 northbound, over Hylton Bridge, was this morning closed because of water on the road.

Rush hour traffic also built up around Testos roundabout, with deep water covering the road surface.

Passengers on the Tyne and Wear Metro were hit by delays as services were affected this morning due to the adverse conditions.

And the River Wear burst its banks at Cone Terrace, in Chester-le-Street, as daylight broke today.

About 40mm to 70mm of rain has already fallen in the North East since the downpours started over the weekend.

Last night saw a number of accidents on the A1 near Durham City, causing chaos for motorists.

Sunderland City Council said today that a number of schools had been affected as pupils struggled to make their way into classes.

Sunderland seafront was battered by huge waves from the storm, as was Seaham Harbour Lighthouse, with wind speeds reaching between 60mph and 70mph in some parts.

Among the affected roads were Silksworth Lane, the A194M from the A182 Washington highway was closed to northbound traffic and the A182 Hetton to South Hetton also suffered from flooding.

People living in Longacre, just off the A1052 in Houghton, saw their homes flooded.

Firefighters were seen pumping water out of the street earlier today.

Stretches of the A690, near Houghton, were also closed to traffic this morning.

A total of 46 flood alerts and 14 flood warnings were issued by the Environment Agency for the North East last night.

Police are now warning drivers to take extra care on the roads.

Northumbria Police chief inspector Sarah Pitt said: “We continue to advise residents that might experience flooding to get advice from the relevant agencies and to be as prepared as possible.

“Anyone caught out by the rain and on the roads should stay calm and avoid any flooded roads and areas where possible.

“Allow extra time for any journeys and drive according to the conditions where you are.

“Reduce speed, keep your distances and make sure you are visible to other road users by having your lights and fog lights on.

“Be alert for heavy accumulations of water and slow down going through them.”

Durham police said today that the stretch of the A182 from Hetton to South Hetton had been badly flooded.

Officers were on the scene to along with fire officers to deal with the problem.

The Met Office has had an amber warning in place for the region as the rain continued to pour down.

It is predicted that heavy rain will continue to fall today and tomorrow but brighter skies are expected by Thursday and for the rest of the week.

Twitter: @davidallison88