Thorsday: Storm and Floods in the North East

Thunder, lightning strikes, torrential downpours and flooding …. the North East experienced it all on Thursday 28th June as once in a lifetime storms raged across our part of England.

Latest estimates are that 50mls of rain fell in Newcastle city centre in just two hours –  the equivalent of the entire average monthly rainfall for June.

Lightning struck the Tyne Bridge and was captured in some amazing footage:

But it also hit some three-story houses in Benwell where families sheltered from the rain. I was there for BBC Newcastle:

Before I’d even made it back to base to help with the 500+ calls our team were stoically trying their best to answer, I came across more storm damage on Grainger Park Road in Newcastle:

Now, it’s mopping up or, in the case of many people who endured journeys of hours on end, finding your car.

But in the aftermath we learned there were 23,000 homes without power and hundreds of houses badly damaged by flooding.

The Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, came up to Gateshead on Saturday 30th June to see some of the damage.

She shared her experiences of being flooded and gave advice to those who don’t have insurance.

She also said the insurance industry needs sorting out to help people who live on flood plains.

I interviewed her for BBC Newcastle, speaking with Matthew Raisbeck about what she said:

A week later I went to a road in Wallsend to see how all the home-owners who were flooded with up to 4 feet of water were coping. A month later I went back: hear how they’re getting on.

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