FLOODING caused by heavy rainfall has affected several parts of the region.

Staff at Durham County Council have been working to keep people safe and moving, from pumping away floodwater from some of the worst hit roads, to distributing sandbags to those who need them and rectifying problems in affected buildings.

With more rain and strong wind forecast over the weekend, residents and visitors are being urged to take care.

Among the roads affected by floodwater this morning was the unclassified road between Broadgate Farm, near Esh Winning, and New Brancepeth, where water levels were so high it was necessary to close the route.

A local diversion is in place and motorists who use the road are advised to allow a little extra time for their journey.

Killhope Museum in Upper Weardale was also closed after a nearby ford flooded.

Highway services manager Mark Readman said: “Heavy rain falling on already saturated ground caused issues across the county.

“Our crews have been working extremely hard to help those affected by floodwater and to keep traffic flowing.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and assist where we can.

“I’d urge people to be mindful of surface water when travelling around the region over the next few days.”

Some affected routes remain passable with care and will be monitored over the weekend.

As well as pumping away the surface water, crews have been digging temporary channels known as grips in roadside verges to help prevent rainwater running off the fields and on to roads.

Sandbags have also been issued to properties affected by the floodwater, and the authority’s buildings and facilities management team has visited eight schools, seven council buildings and three leisure centres to fix leaks and unblock drains.

Visitors to Killhope Museum are advised to call 01388-537-505 to check the attraction is open before setting off over the weekend.

Updates will also be provided online at www.killhope.org.uk and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/killhope

For information about road closures in County Durham, visit www.durham.gov.uk/traffic