A CLEAN-UP operation has begun in South Tyneside after Thursday’s extreme weather caused many areas to flood.
Gale force winds and a tidal surge saw various points of the borough being submerged by water from the Tyne and North Sea.
One of the worst areas affected was Mill Dam, South Shields, when the Tyne breached its banks just after 4pm.
Almost two feet of water filled the car park and covered the pathway behind the Customs House as police, council and Environmental Agency workers put up sandbags to stop the water from entering the buildings.
Despite the water being kept at bay until the Tyne ebbed back, debris and silt were left behind, and yesterday council workers had the task of clearing up.
A council spokesman said: “Incidents have included clearing fallen trees, making the marquee in the Market Place safe after wind damage and working to ensure public safety in areas at risk of flooding.
“Sandbags and other practical support were provided to homes and businesses in the riverside area following reports of the river overtopping at the Customs House.
“The tidal surge along the coast led to some damage to our temporary winter fencing around the sand dunes at Sandhaven.
“There has also been some damage caused to the pathways to the Groyne and to boathouse doors of the Marsden Bay old lifeguard station.
Ray Spencer, executive director for the Customs House, said: “First thing yesterday morning it was very muddy, and there were all sorts of things lying about like wood and seaweed, stuff that we wouldn’t normally see.
“But the council’s workers did a fantastic job and it was soon cleared up and back to normal in no time.”
There were fears the borough would be hit by another tidal surge yesterday noon, and weather warnings had been put in place by the Met Office.
However, the winds, which were previously up to 55 mph had dropped, and South Tyneside is now expected to stay dry, but cold, until early next week.
Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “We are very happy with the way the various council teams worked in association with our partners to ensure all of the necessary procedures were put in place during the extreme weather conditions that affected the borough over the past couple of days.
“Officers and partners carefully monitored and responded to the effects of the weather using onsite teams, up to date information from Northumbrian Water, the Environment Agency and the Met Office, as well as local direct CCTV footage.
“Subsequent to the worst of the weather subsiding, we have evaluated the situation and our highways, street cleansing, and greenspace teams have been tirelessly working to remove debris and clear up any problem areas.
“The most affected areas were in parts of Hebburn and South Shields, where there has been partial flooding and some fallen trees to manage.
“The council and police teams will continue to monitor all areas of flood risk, and while the risk is now considered low, residents are being advised to take extra care around all river and coastal areas, if at all possible.”