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Wet weather preparations and response pays off

Preparations paid off as serious disruption was avoided in North Tyneside during last week’s heavy rainfall.

Downpours across the North East between Wednesday and Friday (12-14 June) caused a number of problems all over the region and further afield.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning of rain – with more than a month’s worth of rain recorded in one day in one part of Northumberland - while surface water and spray on the roads made driving conditions difficult.

But residents in North Tyneside avoided the worst issues as flood alleviation schemes did their job and highways teams responded to clear roads and drains and gullies to keep the borough moving.

Sandbags were also deployed to locations to reduce the risk of flooding to property and infrastructure.

Since the infamous ‘Thunder Thursday’ in 2012, North Tyneside Council has invested £4.5million in a total of 40 flood alleviation schemes to protect homes and businesses.

One of these was the recently-completed Murton Gap flood alleviation project, which was delivered by the council’s partner Capita, is designed to manage the uncontrolled flow of surface water from the fields around Shiremoor, Monkseaton and Wellfield.

During last week’s bad weather the council received no reports of flooding from any residents in the area.

In addition, the Killingworth Lake flood alleviation scheme, in partnership with Northumbrian Water, which is still be completed, but already the new storage basins were utilised during the heavy rainfall and reduced the impact of surface water flooding locally.

Cllr Carole Burdis, cabinet member for Community Safety and Engagement: “We know that many residents and businesses were badly affected by the extreme weather on ‘Thunder Thursday’ back in 2012 and that’s why we have invested heavily in a number of flood alleviation measures.

“So it’s always pleasing to see that these measures are paying off during spells of heavy rain like we had last week.

“We are prepared for this kind of weather here in North Tyneside and our hard-working teams are always on standby to deal with issues as they arise.”

Monkseaton High School reopened on Wednesday (19 June) after being damaged by floodwater.

The school was closed to pupils, except those taking GCSE or A-level exams, on Thursday (13), Friday (14) and Monday (18 June).