Today marks 10 years since the North East was rocked by heavy rain which The Northern Echo dubbed “the worst storm in living memory” when a month’s worth of rain fell in just two-hours.

City streets turned into rivers after torrential rain fell in the region on June 28 2012, causing major travel disruption.


The rain was so prolific that the region’s biggest shopping centre, the MetroCentre in Gateshead, was forced to evacuate.

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The Northern Echo:

Much of Newcastle was flooded by water a foot-deep at rush hour following thunderstorms.

Many may remember a video of the Tyne Bridge being struck by lighting during the height of the storm as traffic was brought to stand still.

In County Durham, the A691 was badly flooded in several places between Langley Park and Lanchester, particularly outside St Bede’s RC Comprehensive School.

The A1 north of the Carville interchange near Durham City, came to a standstill with traffic nose to tail.

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In North Durham, the A693 was closed at Annfield Plain, near Stanley, and the A692 was closed between Rowley Bank and Leadgate Road, near Consett.

The Northern Echo:

Durham Police announced that the river at Lanchester, close to Church View Villas had burst its banks and householders were being evacuated.

A spokesperson revealed that they had been inundated with calls from flood-related incidents and appealed to the public to only travel on the roads if necessary.

People were also urged to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours and ensure they are fit and well.

Southbound trains on the East Coast Main Line from Edinburgh were terminated at Berwick and passengers were forced to wait for buses to take them further south.

The Northern Echo:

Trains travelling from Birtley and Low Fell were travelling at 5mph resulting ins severe delays.

The Metro in Newcastle were suspended and trains stopped at stations with many being asked to use bus services and all local bus firms agreed to accept Metro tickets.

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Commuter Garry Gerrard, who was heading from Newcastle to Durham City told The Northern Echo at the time: “The scenes in Newcastle were amazing.

The Northern Echo:

"I was down on The Quayside when the sky went black and then this rain started that you just couldn’t see through.

"The roads were like rivers. The concourse at the Central Station was ankle deep in water.

"The train stopped a couple of times where there was flooding. It was like a paddy field in places."

Two days after the event and The North East continued to clean up after the storm and it was revealed that a month’s worth of rain had fallen in two-hours.

The Northern Echo:

23,000 homes around Consett and the Tyne Valley lost electricity, which was quickly brought down to 2,450 the next day.

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County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s control centre dealt with more than 400 calls in three hours and also handled calls for the Tyne and Wear and Northumberland brigades.

The Northern Echo:

Affected roads in the North East were soon cleared by the following day and things were mostly brought back to normal.


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