Storm batters County Durham

The Northern Echo: FAO ANDY - WEB ONLY: Storm batters County Durham FAO ANDY - WEB ONLY: Storm batters County Durham

TREES have been brought down and houses left without power as gale force winds batter County Durham.

The storm has caused problems across the rain-lashed county, with winds of up to 100mph reported on high ground and gusts of 80mph even at low levels.

A large tree has come down on the A177 in Durham, completely blocking the road into the city while there are also reports of a tree coming down on a blind bend, Elemore Lane, in High Pittington.

A lorry has overturned on the A19 in east Durham, near the Bristol Street garage.

St Bede's RC school, in Lanchester has been closed due to high winds and pupils are currently being sent home.

George Street, in Blackhill, has been cordoned off by police as a number of roof tiles have been dislodged, while there are also police reports from nearby Consett of a trampoline causing damage as it was blown into the street.

The road from Burnopfield to Lintz Green has been partially blocked by a falling tree.

There are also reports of power cuts in the villages west of Durham City and the traffic lights at Oxhill, in Stanley are currently out of action.

Train services have been disrupted across the region, but are expected to ease later this afternoon.

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