FIREFIGHTERS were deployed to tackle flooding after a river burst its bank near a crematorium.

Excess water had to be pumped away from Kirkleatham Memorial Park and Crematorium, near Redcar, yesterday to enable funeral services to go ahead.

The grounds have been temporarily closed to allow the water to subside.

A spokesperson said last night: "We want to offer our very sincere apologies to families attending our beautiful memorial park today for the ongoing problems with excessive water from the over-spilling river Beck, which has caused significant issues for our staff and mourners alike.

"Our sincere thanks to the absolutely amazing fire services who have gone above and beyond in helping with pumps and their operation to ensure that our services schedule could continue in a safe and orderly fashion.

"The local community spirit was a shining example for everyone and indeed reflective of what we have come to expect from the amazing people that surround Memoria Kirkleatham.

"Sadly we have to close the grounds temporarily over this coming weekend whilst the water recedes and we appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented wet spell.

"Please all stay safe during these trying times and hopefully we can hold our open day as planned in the late spring in sunnier and safer circumstances."