WHEN it comes to going the extra mile, farmer Jack Shepherd is always happy to lend a hand.

As flooding struck parts of North Yorkshire today, following Storm Aileen, the farmer from Wensleydale, climbed aboard his JCB to help rescue motorists who hadn't anticipated the rising waters.

  • Do you know Mr Shepherd, email newsdesk@nne.co.uk or call 01325-505065 or 505064

Pictured by North News photographer, Paul Kingston, Jack stripped off for the rescue mission on the A684 near Aysgarth, wearing just his boxer shorts, check shirt and a woolly hat.

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Elsewhere, rush-hour drivers have been advised to take care after heavy bursts of rain overnight made some roads impassable.

Durham Police warned of “horrendous conditions” due to flooding in some parts and also advised drivers to take care.

Northern Powergrid - which covers the North East and Yorkshire - said 68234057,400 homes had lost power overnight, while it was still working to restore power to 800 customers.

A amber warning alert has been issued for the North-East by the Met Office for very strong winds of up to 75mph.

Today was expected to remain windy with sunshine and showers and maximum temperatures up to 15C.

Drivers of high sided vehicles have been advised to avoid the Tees Viaduct, the Hylton Bridge over the River Wear, and the Redheugh Bridge over the River Tyne because of gusting winds.

The River Ure, in North Yorkshire, burst its banks and flooded the A684 westbound between Aysgarth and School Hill.

One driver was caught out by standing water in the road on the B6265 between Ripon and Pateley Bridge, near Risplith, but was fortunately uninjured.

One lane closed due to broken down vehicle on A1(M) northbound between Allerton Park junction 47 and Boroughbridge junction 48 in North Yorkshire.

One lane closed is closed due to an accident involving two cars on A1(M) southbound near junction 62 in County Durham.

There were also reports of rocks in the road on the A684 between Hawes and Bainbridge, and  trees down on A1039 Filey Road between Folkton and Flixton.

Sergeant Paul Cording, from North Yorkshire Police, tweeted: "Lots of standing water and debris on the roads this morning so please take extra care on the commute and school run."

Elsewhere, lane closures were put in place on the A19 northbound between the junctions with the A1290 and the A184 on Wearside due to flooding.

Flood alerts were issued by the Environment Agency for Middleton in Teesdale and Barnard Castle as River Tees levels rose overnight. They were remaining in force until 8am.

The region, however, however appeared to have escaped the worst of Storm Aileen as the Atlantic depression passed overnight before moving off into the North Sea.