SEVERAL parts of the North East were still recovering from a serious deluge on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.

Roads were closed and villages vulnerable to flooding once again saw water levels rise and rivers and streams break their banks.

In Lanchester, County Durham, drains were unable to cope with water running off surrounding hills and collecting in Front Street, rising to around two feet in places.

Lanchester Community Emergency Plan was invoked at around 8pm on Monday, November 21, 2016, and two farmers helped the fire brigade to clear leaves from drains.

Elsewhere in the region, one of the main routes through the North York Moors had to be closed when heavy rain washed 500 to 600 tonnes of gravel from an escape lane onto the A169 at Sleights, near Whitby.

A number of areas of Hambleton and Richmondshire were also hit, where a number of properties were flooded, including in Bainbridge, Hawes and Grinton in the Yorkshire Dales.

Water also came into homes in Ripley and Whitby.

Great Ayton was hit particularly badly, with shops on Park Square flooded when the River Leven burst its banks.

Residents in Mill Terrace turned out overnight to clean drains to try to get water levels down, while fire crews pumped water out at the bottom of Roseberry Crescent.

Flood waters came perilously close to Roseberry Academy Primary School’s lower school office after flooding the school’s car park, and homes in the centre of the village flooded after the River Leven broke its banks.

A man with a knife caused a disturbance in the reception at Darlington Town Hall on Friday, November 18, 2016.

Staff pressed the panic alarm for help as the 61-year-old man became increasingly confrontational – but it was broken and failed to sound in reception. It had been due to be fixed that same week.

However, it did sound elsewhere in the building, including in the council’s CCTV control room.

Police were called and the man was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and possession of a bladed article.

Police said: “Police attended and found a small kitchen knife, with a blade approximately four inches in length, in his bag."

Finally, a man pocketed £35,000 after selling fake artwork he claimed was by acclaimed colliery artist Norman Cornish.

Richard Pearson, 56, admitted nine counts of fraud, two counts of forgery and two counts of using a false instrument with intent when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday, November 22, 2016.

The nine fraud charges date from between December 2011 and March 2013 and relate to Pearson falsely claiming he was in possession of a genuine work of art by Norman Cornish and wished to sell it on behalf of a member of the Cornish family.

The defendant, of Thomas Street, Sunderland, had also made counterfeit receipts from the Stone Gallery.

He was later jailed for three years and seven months.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054