Weather measures

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SETTING up defences to protect a town against a repeat of the supercell storm are unrealistic, council chiefs claim.

Durham County Council has said the conditions that hit Chester-le-Street on June 28 were a once-in-a-700-year occurrence.

The downpour left businesses and homes under water, with chaos sweeping across the region as the storm spread.

Council bosses said in the future it may need to protect properties, rather than defend them.

Some councillors also questioned whether the authority was prepared for the incident, as it was obvious storms were brewing.

However, officers argued weather prediction is difficult and not an exact science.

They added staff had a series of problems to deal with in locations across the county.

Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of direct services, said some areas on the morning after the rain were described as resembling a war zone.