WEATHER UPDATE: Homes evacuated and roads remain flooded as weather chaos continues in Sunderland

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HOMES have been evacuated and drivers are facing further misery as the grim weather continues to cause misery in Sunderland.

Emergency services and council teams are working to tackle the impact of heavy rain and flooding throughout the region.

A number of roads are currently closed, including:

•The A690 west-bound near the Reg Vardy garage, which is closed between the Stoneygate juntion and the A19 due to a partially collapsed carriageway, caused by exceptional rainfall.

Sunderland City Council and Northumbrian Water have been to the scene to assess the damage and established that a temporary re-opening is not possible.

•Diversions are in place for south-westbound traffic, via: A19 north/A183 Chester Road to Shiney Row/A182 to Houghton-le-Spring. Stoneygate junction will remain open. The diversion is likely to be in place for a minimum of 3 days.

Other roads affected by flooding are:

•A19 sliproad – A690

•B1288 Mount Pleasant

•Blind Lane, Silksworth

Sunderland City Council said about 50 properties have also been evacuated including a number of homes in:

Longacre, Houghton

Dene Street, Hetton

Dunelm Drive, Houghton

Borrowdale Street, Hetton

Coverdale Ave, Concord

Mill Terrace, Houghton

Grange Road and St Margarets Ave, Castletown Hylton Castle Road The Three Horse Shoes, Washington

A spokesman for the council said: “At this stage there has been no need to set up any rest centres but the city council is on standby to do so if necessary.

“Sandbags have been distributed to homes along Southview, in Fatfield, Washington, overlooking the River Wear. And the City Council currently has a team out there assessing the potential impact of flooding should it occur.

Two schools are currently closed – Holley Park Primary which is closed due to a power cut and Lambton Primary which is closed due to flooding in the office and car park. Thornhill School is partially open with years 9/10 in school.

The council is also warning that refuse collections could be disrupted due to the flooding.

Motorists are still being warned to only drive if it is necessary, to allow extra time for their journeys and to take particular care on the roads, reduce their speeds and allow extra distance between themselves and other vehicles.

People are also being advised to check for road closures on local radio / TV and the Highways Agency web site and Tyne and Wear travel at www.tyneandweartravel.info/public/map/map.htm

The advice is also to check public transport is operating before travelling – info available on the Nexus web site and Traveline at http://traveline.info/

For information on flooding – www.enviromentagency.gov.uk