HEAVY rain caused commuter chaos today, as flooding again hit the region.
Forecasters said a month’s rain fell in some parts of the North East, with downpours expected to continue today.
Metro services to and from South Tyneside were severely affected by the weather, and a number of roads closed this morning.
Motorists faced congestion as the A19 northbound between Testos and Lindisfarne roundabouts was shut during rush hour, although it later opened.
Hebburn Lakes Primary School in Campbell Park Road, was closed due to flooding, and South Tyneside Council teams and emergency services worked through the night to distribute sandbags to anxious residents.
Many schoolchildren, including pupils from St Joseph’s RC Comprehensive in Hebburn, were left stranded at bus stops after their services failed to appear.
Today fire crews were at Reay Crescent in Boldon Colliery, pumping out flood water after the River Don burst its banks.
The Hollow, at Fellgate, Jarrow, was one of the worst-affected streets in this summer’s flash floods, with some residents forced into temporary accommodation.
Last night worried residents looked on as rain lashed down, leaving parts of nearby Durham Drive, which circles the estate, looking like a lake.
Irene and Michael Conville, whose home at The Hollow is still drying out after the last storms, said they didn’t sleep as the rain came down.
Mrs Conville, 54, said: “I thought the rain was going to come over the sandbags again.
“I didn’t sleep a wink last night with the worry, and it looks as though we have a leak in the ceiling.
“Plus, the field at St Joseph’s Primary School, behind our home, was flooded.”
Coun Alan Kerr, for the Monkton ward, inspected the Lukes Lane Estate in Hebburn between 10.30pm and 11.30pm last night.
The estate was twice devastated by flooding this summer, but the sandbags and timber barriers outside residents’ homes kept most of the water at bay this time.
A spokesman for Hebburn fire station said: “Most of the flooding problems last night seemed to be concentrated at Fellgate and in the Boldon area.”
South Shields appeared to have escaped the kind of devastation sparked by this summer’s heavy downpours.
Sandbags were in place outside the Asha balti house restaurant and shops along Ocean Road, but there were no signs of flooding.
‘Kennedy’s roundabout’ at Tyne Dock and Newland Court, South Shields, which were both badly hit by this summer’s floods, were also spared.
Coun Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “The multi-agency flood response group is once again operating, with roads closed where necessary, and we have opened equipment pods at high-risk locations, providing sandbags and support to local residents.
“Additional gully cleaners have also been deployed at key locations.”
The council incident room will remain open all day, and anyone needing help or information should call 427 7000. Further information will also be posted on www.southtyneside.info during the day.