Full clear-up after Storm Arwen battered South Tyneside expected to take weeks - here is the latest situation
Clear-up and inspection operations are still underway after South Tyneside was battered by Storm Arwen, with teams working around the clock.
Crews have been praised for their emergency reponse to the high winds, which left property damaged and roads and schools closed in the borough.
South Tyneside Council said assessments are being carried out on parks, cemeteries, structures and schools, with chiefs saying further ‘significant work’ is required to repair damage wreaked by the storm.
The clean-up operation is due to continue over the coming days – though some work is expected to take weeks to complete.
Council chiefs say there has been an influx of reports after people returned to premises following the weekend.
Issues are being dealt with on a priority basis, the council said.
An ‘unprecedented’ number of trees have blown down, with the council received reports relating to trees at almost 300 locations.
The council said assessments have been carried out at 150 sites in the high priority category, with 80 trees having been removed or made safe.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “Teams from the council, South Tyneside Homes and our contractors are continuing to work tirelessly to help the borough recover as swiftly and as safely as possible.
“Crews worked around the clock in the initial emergency response over the weekend and are now assessing what remains to be done.
“Whilst significant progress has already been made in the clean-up operation, it is apparent that there is a substantial amount of damage which is going to take some time to work through.
“This storm has had a major impact and has affected so many of our residents and businesses, but once again we have seen that fantastic South Tyneside community spirit, with people rallying together and looking out for one another.”
She added: “This has been an unprecedented event; we will continue to work through the damage, prioritising the most urgent, and we would ask people to be patient as we try to return the borough to normal.”
Inspections of the borough’s green spaces have identified a substantial amount of additional work including fallen trees, split trees and branches.
Identified dangerous areas have been fenced off, however it is anticipated that the wider clean-up operation will last a number of weeks.
Assessments across council-owned buildings have also highlighted repair works needed to 14 properties, the majority of which are schools and relate to minor issues like roof tiles or loose cables.
Haven Point in South Shields remains closed due to storm damage to the roof.
Repair work could not start today due to icy conditions, but will begin on Tuesday.
It is anticipated that the leisure pool will stay closed for the rest of this week with planned works of the slides due to take place next week.
The council and South Tyneside Homes have also received 45 reports of structural damage and the response to incidents is ongoing.
A number of road closures remain in place across the borough. Diversions are in place with local access permitted.
A closure at Station Road, East Boldon, requires the assessment of live electricity cables by Northern Powergrid, who are prioritising 58,000 residents who are still without power.
Trow Quarry car park is closed due to ice and an accumulation of sand on the access road, which crews are due to clear over the coming days.
A full list of road closures can be found at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/stormarwen
Incidents can be reported via the Customer Contact Centre number 0191 427 7000 or [email protected] which is open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6.30pm.
The public can also use www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit to report incidents
The council’s out-of-hours contact number is 0191 455 6111
School closures will be posted on the council website at www.southyneside.gov.uk/schoolclosures
For more information, please follow Council social media feeds or visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/stormarwen
For up-to-the-minute public transport information visit www.nexus.org.uk