Environment Agency urges people to check their flood risk

People are being urged to check their flood risk.
People are being urged to check their flood risk.

The Environment Agency is warning residents and businesses in the North East to check their flood risk as rain continues.

Around 25mm of rain fell over 12 hours, and with more rain expected throughout today and over the coming days, residents are urged to keep a close eye on weather forecasts, and check their flood risk. The main issue across the region is surface water flooding, causing disruption to travel and impacting on properties.

The Environment Agency’s North East Incident Room opened overnight and staff have been out clearing blockages from rivers and screens, and monitoring river levels. A blocked screen at Acomb was cleared through the night.

In Morpeth, the flood gates at High Stanners were closed at around 3am – the first time they have been closed since the scheme’s completion. Pumps were used to remove surface water from the area. The dam at Mitford, which operates automatically when the river reaches certain levels, did not need to operate. The Environment Agency's routine maintenance of the dam means it’s ready for use whenever it is needed.

There were some reports of outbuildings flooding at East Mill, and staff have gone to speak to residents in that area this morning. There are no reports of property flooding in the town of Morpeth.

Skinningrove levels are under observation but currently not to the levels to close the gates.

The Environment Agency’s Paul Constantine said: "Overnight the heavy rain has caused surface water issues and we’re working closely with local authorities to keep them updated. We’ve been out through the night clearing blockages, keeping screens clear and monitoring river levels, as well as operating our flood defences, such as the gates at Morpeth.

"It’s expected there will be more rain throughout today and in the coming days, although forecasts are unsettled and very changeable. It’s vital people keep up to speed with the latest weather forecast and flood warning information on our website. We’re continuing to closely monitor river levels and will issue more alerts and flood warnings if necessary. People are advised to stay away from swollen rivers and if you are travelling, check the flood risk before you set off. The public should not attempt to drive through flood water – 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car."

Residents and businesses are advised to be prepared and check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188. They can also stay up to date by following @EnvAgencyYNE and #floodaware on Twitter.