Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Region Hit by Flash Floods

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Region Hit by Flash Floods

Article excerpt

Byline: By Rob Kennedy

A month's worth of rain falls in just a few minutes causing chaos

Flash floods caused chaos across the North East as a month's rain fell in minutes.

Emergency services were stretched to the limit as more than 400 999 calls were made.

Homes were still under water in parts of the North East today after storms of tropical intensity battered the region.

Tyne & Wear Fire Service took more than 400 calls ( four times as many as usual ( in less than seven hours.

At one point they had 80 callers jamming their phone lines and BT had to introduce its disaster plan and feed calls to other fire services.

There were also scores of call-outs in Durham and Northumberland.

Almost 7cms of rain fell, more than is normal for the entire month of June.

Today huge areas of the region remained under water despite the continuing hot weather.

Chris Foster, senior divisional officer with the fire service, based in Newcastle, said: "The difficulty with it was the sheer volume of calls that came in a relatively short time.

"Water was getting into people's homes and they were obviously concerned and wanted us there. You can imagine if water was coming in your door you would start panicking."

In Walkergate, Newcastle, an elderly couple had to be rescued after their car became submerged in water under a Metro bridge.

Drinkers in the Railway Inn pub, on Benfield Road, called the Fire Brigade.

But as the situation got worse, one man rushed out and dragged the pair to safety.

Within just minutes, only the top six inches of the vehicle were visible.

Marc McMahon took a picture of the car roof-deep in water.

Marc, who runs the Tyne Photo studio, in North Shields, said: "The owner of the car had no chance to move it."

Firefighters from Gateshead were drafted in to deal with the incident at around 9pm because local crews were dealing with other callouts.

Station Officer Dave Buxton said: "When we got there it was totally submerged and the people had already been rescued."

On Hexham Avenue, Walker, 82-year-old Nina Taylor was left terrified when the floods broke through her front door. …

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