Sunderland and Durham count the cost of worst September storm in 30 years

Motorists' cars abaondoned in heavy flood water on the A19 Washington
Motorists' cars abaondoned in heavy flood water on the A19 Washington
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WEARSIDE is today counting the cost after being battered by the worst September storm for 30 years.

Heavy rain over the past two days caused flooding chaos across the region.

FLOODING ... in Richardson Avenue, South Shields.

FLOODING ... in Richardson Avenue, South Shields.

Homes were evacuated in Hetton, Houghton and Washington, traffic came to a standstill for hours and Metro passengers suffered long delays.

The A690 westbound between Sunderland and Houghton was closed after part of the carriageway collapsed.

The city council was reassessing the situation this morning, but the road could be closed for a minimum of three days.

Rush-hour jams were expected today, with a diversion in place which takes motorists to the A183 junction at Chester Road, then south from Shiney Row on to the A182 and back on to the A690.

Traffic heading west along the A690 after the A19 junction had to be diverted after a large hole opened up alongside the carriageway opposite the pumping station buildings at Stoneygate.'It was thought that the road could end up being closed for up to a couple of days as work got underway to plug the hole with concrete and carry out any repairs that might be needed to the various underground utility pipes and cables that have become exposed.'One theory is that the hole is part of a geological fault, similar to the one which crosses Houghton Cut further along the A690. It could have been getting larger for some time and the heavy rain of the last couple of days contributed to the collapse.

Traffic heading west along the A690 after the A19 junction had to be diverted after a large hole opened up alongside the carriageway opposite the pumping station buildings at Stoneygate.'It was thought that the road could end up being closed for up to a couple of days as work got underway to plug the hole with concrete and carry out any repairs that might be needed to the various underground utility pipes and cables that have become exposed.'One theory is that the hole is part of a geological fault, similar to the one which crosses Houghton Cut further along the A690. It could have been getting larger for some time and the heavy rain of the last couple of days contributed to the collapse.

The River Wear burst its banks in Durham City and Chester-le-Street

A flood warning put in place between Fatfield Bridge and the Queen Alexandra Bridge was lifted this morning.

All the other roads affected by flooding have now reopened, although the public footpath at the back of the Vaux site is closed due to the threat of the embankment collapsing.

Train services are today getting back to normal after the East Coast Main Line was massively affected yesterday.

Motorists dealing with a flooded section of the A182 Hetton Road, Houghton.

Motorists dealing with a flooded section of the A182 Hetton Road, Houghton.

Services were unable to run for several hours.

Northern Rail services between Sunderland and Hartlepool were also disrupted, when thieves cut through a 650-volt cable, near Stockton, on Teesside.

Many Wearside pupils were given the day off classes, with a number of schools affected.

Two Washington schools remained closed all day – Holley Park Primary, which closed due to a power cut, and Lambton Primary, which closed due to flooding in the office and car park.

Many roads were reduced to a crawl as rain caused flooding. This was the scene northbound on the A19 between Durham Road and Chester Road after more than 50mm of rain had fallen and with a forecast of yet more to come.

Many roads were reduced to a crawl as rain caused flooding. This was the scene northbound on the A19 between Durham Road and Chester Road after more than 50mm of rain had fallen and with a forecast of yet more to come.

Lambton Primary was only reopened at the start of this term after a renovation and repairs after being flooded in June.

Fatfield Primary School remained open despite problems while the boiler house at Thorney Close Primary had no hot water but remained open.

Albany Primary School was affected by water coming in through the roof but stayed open for classes.

Mill Hill School was flooded in the entrance but remained open.

Sunderland City Council said today that all schools were open for lessons.

The torrential rain eased overnight and today’s forecast is for brighter skies, but the region could still have heavy, prolonged showers.

Janet Bell owner of Robinson the Butchers in Wingate with damaged goods outside of her office. Picture by FRANK REID

Janet Bell owner of Robinson the Butchers in Wingate with damaged goods outside of her office. Picture by FRANK REID

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Aron Martin, 17, on Marsden beach near South Shields as heavy seas cause lots of foam along the beach. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday September 24, 2012. See PA story WEATHER Foam. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Aron Martin, 17, on Marsden beach near South Shields as heavy seas cause lots of foam along the beach. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday September 24, 2012. See PA story WEATHER Foam. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire