Couple wake to water as huge downpours hit county

The Northern Echo: WATERFALL: Gaynor McCourt, of Wear View, Hunwick, at her front gate where water from an underground stream or culvert is gushing up from her back yard WATERFALL: Gaynor McCourt, of Wear View, Hunwick, at her front gate where water from an underground stream or culvert is gushing up from her back yard

A COUNTY Durham family could be facing a £30,000 repair bill after their home was flooded.

Wilf and Gaynor McCourt woke today (Monday November 26) to find an inch of water covering the ground floor of their house in Wear View, Hunwick, near Willington.

Mr McCourt believes the deluge swelled an underground stream and the pressure caused the concrete in his yard to collapse.

He said: “That allowed the water to run freely out of my yard and probably stopped more of it coming into the house.

“I don’t want to think about the cost of it all right now but one of the firefighters who came to help us said he has seen cases like ours before where it costs between £25,000 and £30,000 to repair.

“I have lived here for 21 years without a problem, now we have to work out what caused the flooding and rectify it to stop it from happening again.”

The Northern Echo: FULL FLOW: Flooding at Broken Scar, Darlington, taken at 3.30pm by reader Clive Rickaby

Residents flooded out 12 years ago face a new threat from heavy rain.

Flood defences were built to protect homes at South Church, near Bishop Auckland, after the inundation. This year’s extended periods of heavy rain are putting a strain on the drains.

Susan Wedgewood's has a small beck running behind the garden and the River Gaunless flowing past the front door.

During the last deluge at the end of September Mrs Wedgewood had to hire a pump to get rid of the water that flooded her garden.

She had to repeat the costly exercise, as the garden was again under water, and put sandbags against the back door.

The Northern Echo: SNOW TRAIL: A walker endures bitterly cold temperatures as he negotiates the snowy hills in the northern Pennines yesterday

“We called the fire brigade but there was nothing they could do, so we had to hire the pump again, “ she said.

“It costs £32 a day. I am going to buy my own – it will be cheaper in the long run.

“I am sandwiched in between the beck and the river, so I have my own sandbags as well. I am living with this situation now.”

Across the county bus services were disrupted as roads became impassable or passable only with care due to water building up.

Both Arriva and Go North East reported delays and some routes had to be altered to avoid flooded areas.

The Northern Echo: BLOCKED OFF: The A66 west bound, at Scotch Corner, is closed to traffic

The River Wear rose several feet to burst its banks in Durham city centre, flooding the road at Framwelgate Waterside and rising close to the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Unlike September’s flooding, when a car was stranded on the riverside road, all motorists vacated the area in time.

The Wear also burst its banks near Green Lane and Shincliffe, while several fields and roads were left underwater including The Sands on the edge of the city centre.

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