POLICE have repeated warning for people to extra care this evening as the North East was hit by the biggest storm surge in 30 years.
Gale force winds, large waves and a tidal surge caused by low pressure combined with high tides to bring a risk of significant coastal flooding in some parts of the region.
With some rivers starting to burst their banks, people were advised to stay away from coastal and riverside areas and avoid coastal paths, promenades, beaches and piers.
South Shields was affected, as were areas of the Quayside in Newcastle and in Northumberland.
There is limited access north of the Swing Bridge in Newcastle, and people are advised to avoid the area.
Assistant Chief Constable Gary Calvert said: “We recognise some members of the community will feel vulnerable at this time and officers, along with other agencies, are offering reassurance at every opportunity.
“Extra officers are on patrol in the areas expected to be worst hit, and anyone concerned should speak to a local officer or ring 101.
“We’d urge members of the public to keep up to date with the latest situation - keep checking the Met Office and Environment Agency websites for information and updates and tune into local radio and TV.
“If no access to internet you can ring the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 988 1188. This has the latest information in relation to flood warnings and pre-recorded advice.
“If you are driving, stay safe, slow down and keep your distance. Make sure you are visible. Check ahead and make sure your destination isn’t an area affected by flooding.
“We would urge people to take note of the warnings that are being issued and if they are advised to avoid an area to heed that advice.”