Batten down the hatches - gale force winds and rain hit the region

Umbrellas won't be much use in this  .Umbrellas won't be much use in this  .
Umbrellas won't be much use in this .
The North East is being battered by rain and winds of up 50mph tonight.

The region has been hit by strong winds and rain since late afternoon and there's no sign of the bad weather easing.

There's reports of flooding on the roundabout next to Kennedy's bar in South Eldon Street, South Shields.

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Plus Lindisfarne roundabout in Jarrow is also partialy submerged in water.

Tyne and Wear Fire Service tweeted just before 8pm: "Appliances from #Farringdon have dealt with a roof in a dangerous condition in the #Grangetown area."

While further down the coast County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue tweeted: "Crews are currently attending numerous flooding related incidents throughout the County. Take care if you are out on the roads #staysafe."

Meanwhile The Environment Agency has issued a flood alert for the Tyne Estuary from Wylam to the North Sea coast, including Watergate car park at Newcastle Quayside.

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It said strong onshore winds may cause large waves and overtopping in the area between Royal Quays and the mouth of the estuary.

Earlier today the Met Office issued a yellow-category weather warning for the North East as "a broad area of heavy, persistent rain" heads for the region.

Only the most northerly parts of the North East were expected to be hit by the worst of it, but persistent showers would affect most areas.

Strong northeasterly winds were also predicted with gusts of 40-50 mph.

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A Met Office spokesman said: "Please be aware of the possibility of localised flooding and disruption to transport.

"Some 20-30 mm of rain may fall in 6 hours in places whilst 30-50 mm may occur locally through the whole period, the greater risk of this being across parts of North East England where the rain becomes most persistent.

"There remains some uncertainty in timing and extent of the northward spread of the rain."