COUNTY Durham is still battling the effects of Monday’s heavy rain and flooding.

Commuters have faced longer journeys due to tailbacks and congestion and public transport has had to deal with the aftermath of the downpour.

The River Wear was the subject of Environment Agency flood warnings and burst its banks in several places, and water seeped into the Riverside, Chester-le-Street, where Durham County Cricket Club’s Emirates Durham ICG stadium is situated.

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Water covered a children’s play park on the river’s western bank. Stadium groundsman David Measor said: “We have had a couple of days of heavy rain and it’s beginning to work it’s way into the ground.

“We have a quarter of the outfield covered and it is working its way towards the square.

“The water is working its way up through the ground, through any weak point and it is starting to fill the ground up.”

The River Wear also came over its banks in Durham City centre including on Framwellgate Waterside. Guests at the Radisson Blu Hotel – believed to include the QPR football team who were are playing at Sunderland tonight – have had to use an alternative access from Sidegate.

Hotel manager Neal Holloway said: “We haven’t be affected because the hotel never floods.

“But the issue is that the main access road is impassable. “We have a single track road, a rear emergency-only exit, that we only use in time of flooding

“It is difficult to explain to guests where to go.

“I have to say Durham Police have been fantastic. We had VIP guests staying and they made sure they got in all right.

“We have some stranded guests who are going down to Shrewsbury but their coach is stuck in the car park with no where to go.

“The water is receding but it will be a few hours yet before you can drive out.”

There was widespread travel disruption, particularly during the morning rush hour, as many roads, including some major routes, were still affected by flooding and traffic backed up in many places.

The A167 was closed for several hours between Pity Me and Plawsworth and between the Cock o’ the North roundabout and the Honest Lawyer Hotel at Croxdale, south of Durham City. 

There was disruption at various points along the A19 Bus services operated by Arriva and Go North East suffered delays and some had to follow altered routes because of standing water and road closures.

Overhead power cable problems near Darlington affected train services on the East Coast Main Line between Newcastle and York for much of the day but operations are expected to return to normal in the morning.