Soggy Sunderland - what life was like in the city in 1999, the year it seemed to rain non-stop

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Houses were flooded and a river ran down High Street West

Soaked Sunderland. We’ve had it tough lately but it was just the same this time 25 years ago.

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Castletown, Roker and Downhill were affected

It wasn’t so different to life in the city 25 years ago when flash floods were causing severe disruption.

Drains were unable to cope with the downpour leaving homes and roads flooded.

A 1999 flood scene in Newcastle Road at the Wheatsheaf.A 1999 flood scene in Newcastle Road at the Wheatsheaf.
A 1999 flood scene in Newcastle Road at the Wheatsheaf. | se

Large parts of Sunderland and Washington, including Castletown and South Bents, as well as Roker, and Downhill, Newcastle Road, Wessington Way, and the A19 were all hit.

A river was running through High Street West

Police reported a number of minor accidents and the rush-hour traffic was backed up in Sunderland city centre with 2ft of water reported outside Gill Bridge Avenue police station.

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Staff worked to stop a river of water running from High Street West into The Bridges.

The shopping centre had to close early for a clean-up.

A moose shared the news headlines

Firefighters and workers from the city council and Northumbrian Water were called out to ease the flood levels.

Andrew Panting, spokesman for Northumbrian Water, said at the time: “It is just one of those situations where a huge amount of water has fallen in a very short space of time and the drains aren’t big enough to take the water away fast enough.”

A reminder of the floods in Sunderland 25 years ago.A reminder of the floods in Sunderland 25 years ago.
A reminder of the floods in Sunderland 25 years ago. | se

Let’s look back at some other Sunderland reminders from 1999.

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A large moose head which hung in the entrance hall of the Grade II listed Doxford House, was donated to Sunderland museum and was due to feature in the newly revamped museum when it opened in 2000.

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Young Wearside singer Laura Blake, 11, wowed the presenters on the Big Breakfast Television Show with her rendition of Little People from the musical Les Miserables.

The derelict Monkwearmouth College, in Swan Street, Southwick, was bulldozed as part of a Ł300,000 redevelopment scheme.

Tell us about the worst flood you have ever experienced on Wearside, by emailing [email protected]

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