Sunderland and Durham braced for second bout of weather chaos

Motorists faced with fog and spray from torrential rain on the A19 near Easington this morning.

Motorists faced with fog and spray from torrential rain on the A19 near Easington this morning.

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WEARSIDE is bracing itself for more weather chaos this weekend.

The region woke up this morning to find the torrential downpours of recent weeks had returned with a vengeance.

Sheltering from the rain in Fatfield this morning.

Sheltering from the rain in Fatfield this morning.

But this morning’s storm could be just a taste of what is coming over the next few days, with warnings the worst may be yet to come.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for the weekend, meaning an increasing likelihood of river flooding and travel disruption.

Police and local authorities are urging people to take extra care.

Northumbria Police Operations Chief Insp Sarah Pitt said: “We aren’t expecting to see flash floods like we did across Tyneside last week, but some areas are experiencing heavy rain and we could possibly start to see some localised flooding.

“I’d ask residents, especially in flood-prone areas, to get advice from the relevant agencies and to plan ahead as much as possible. I’d ask motorists to avoid making unnecessary journeys and to avoid any flooded roads and areas.

“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 – slow down going through them and test your brakes afterwards.”

The weather has already caused disruption across parts of County Durham, with Barnard Castle and surrounding villages hardest hit by torrential downpours yesterday.

Superintendent Graham Hall, from Durham police’s Response Command, said: “We’re working with our colleagues in the other emergency services, other agencies and the Civil Contingency Unit to ensure we can all respond effectively, should the need arise.

“People should also look out for their neighbours, especially those who may be elderly or vulnerable.”

Anyone concerned about an immediate threat of flooding to their property should contact the Highways Action Line on 0191 370 6000. In an emergency ring police on 999 or 101 in a non-urgent situation.

l For information on the latest weather warnings visit www.metoffice.gov.uk.

For information and advice on flooding visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

To keep up date with the latest on the weather for your area visit www.sunderlandecho.com.