ROADS across the region - including the A19 - are yet again under water today after heavy overnight rain.

The A688 Bishop Auckland bypass is closed, and the A19 northbound, between Testos roundabout in South Tyneside and the Boldon turn-off is currently closed because of heavy rain.

HGVs are advised to use an alternative route along the A194 to get to the Tyne Tunnel, while other traffic should go via Abingdon Way.

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The A19 northbound half a mile after the Seaham turn-off towards the A690 is also having issues with standing water and Northumbria Police said drivers should be careful when on the roads.

Elsewhere in the UK, flood warnings, which suggest flooding is expected, are in place in the South West, the South East and East Anglia, the Environment Agency said.

Forecasters said the heavy rain would ease off in the South West this afternoon and it would be dry tomorrow, but warned the weather across the whole country is likely to remain unsettled for up to seven days.

Andy Ratcliffe, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "There will be persistent rain across most of the UK today, though in the South West it will turn drier in the afternoon with the odd shower.

"Tomorrow it will largely be dry in the South West, but by the evening the next band of rain will move in.

"That will stay throughout the weekend and into next week."

Areas of England and Wales, including parts of the North-East, were last month engulfed by flood water that surged through streets and down roads, cutting off whole communities and forcing dozens to flee their homes.

Craig Woolhouse, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said today: "Our teams are out around the clock to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding, clearing drainage channels and ensuring that flood defences are working properly.

"We urge people to keep up to date with the weather forecast and local news overnight and remain prepared for flooding in their area by signing up to receive free flood warnings and staying away from dangerous flood water."

Those in areas at risk can check the Environment Agency website for the latest information: and sign up for free flood warnings on the Environment Agencys website, or by calling the Environment Agency Flood Line on 0845 988 1188.