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Flood responders were at the ready as torrential downpours brought flash flooding to the North East over the weekend.

Thousands of sand bags were filled in anticipation of the deluge, with Durham County Council teams on call around the clock to help families.

Highways services manager, Mark Readman, said: “With a yellow warning of rain from the Met Office, over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we had extra crews – including emergency highways action teams, clean and green officers, joiners, and heating and gas engineers – on standby.

“In preparation for the forecast storms, all of our depots were also fully stocked with more than 2,400 sand bags.

“On Saturday we had intense localised showers across the county which caused some flooding due to huge downpours overwhelming drains.

“We received over 35 calls for help and staff were thanked by both police and the fire service for their prompt action.”

Ahead of the storms the council received 30 calls requesting sand bags, then between 2.40pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday a number of reports of flooding and flood damage from across the county.

In some areas, including the A689 at St Johns Chapel and Lennon Terrace in Stanley flood waters subsided before crews arrived, while elsewhere crews made sure that a dislodged manhole cover in Annfield Plain, damaged roads in Blackhill, Stanley and Witton Gilbert, and a damaged footpath in Leadgate were all safe.

The council’s civil contingency plans also came into effect, with communities – including farmers in Lanchester – coming to the aid of fellow residents using equipment and training they have been given by the council.

Details on how to report flooding or request sandbags are available on the Durham County Council website at www.durham.gov.uk/floods.

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