MOTORISTS found themselves stranded today as the heavy rains led rivers to overflow.

The banks of the River Tees burst at the A167 at Croft, near Darlington, North Yorkshire.

The water was 4ft high in places and cars had to be pulled to safety by wagons as they got stuck.

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One driver, Ron Outhwaite, 60, of Darlington, made a slick getaway after he was stranded on the road at 1pm, when the Tees breached its banks and floodwater filled the road.

At first he had to escape to the safety of the roof of his car, and then jumped between his car and a wagon which came to his rescue.

His wife, Wyn, had come to his aid after hearing that Ron was in trouble.

She said: "I came across because my son rang to say Ron was in a spot of bother.

"I didn't expect to see this.

"He was on his way to visit our nephews.

"He's seeing the funny side though, he's been laughing about it. He made quite the escape."

A Mitsubishi was also stranded at the same point and had to be towed by a wagon.

Flood warnings are in force along the River Tees at Hurworth Grange, Low Dinsdale and Newbus Grange.

The Environment Agency also issued warnings for points along the River Calder, Nidd, Wharfe and Ouse, and the River Wear at Upper Stanhope, Durham Riverside and Page Bank Riverside.

* Don't miss tomorrow's paper for more dramatic pictures and reports.