North braced for floods

The north of England was braced for serious damage last night as heavy and intense rain caused localised flooding, blocked drains and prompted hundreds of calls to emergency services.

Durham, Darlington and parts of Northumberland were among the worst hit areas yesterday, but the Environment Agency warned areas across the North-east of England could face further disruption today, predicting up to 110mm of rain could hit the area by 8am today. Rain is also expected to increase between 6am and 12pm today when it is then expected to move south down to the Cheviots and Pennines.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said river levels in County Durham and Northumberland were being monitored closely. She said: "Heavy rain is expected to continue into the evening and overnight in the North-east. There is a possibility that flood alerts will be issued for rivers in the North-east and a chance that flood warnings may be required in some isolated locations.

"We are urging people to keep an eye on local weather reports and to check our website."

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