Storm Arwen in South Tyneside: Clean up operation 'likely to last into the new year'
The work to repair damage caused in South Tyneside after Storm Arwen wreaked havoc across the borough is set to continue into the new year, council chiefs have said.
The extreme conditions caused chaos throughout South Tyneside and surrounding North East areas, which led to hundreds of fallen trees and widespread instances of structural damage to properties
Almost a week on from the storm, the local authority says significant progress has been made, with crews continuing to repair the damage, but the work will last into the new year.
So far, the council has received reports relating to trees at 386 locations, has carried out 215 inspections and removed or made 135 trees safe.
Haven Point in South Shields remains closed due to both internal and external storm damage as remedial work hasn’t yet been able to start because of wet and icy conditions, but is due to go ahead ‘as soon as possible’.
Council teams say work has been prioritised to clear fallen and damaged trees from roads and footpaths and where there is a risk to life and property.
And assessments of parks, cemeteries and green spaces have also generated additional work, with officers dealing with fallen trees, split trees and branches.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “This was an unprecedented weather incident, a rare red warning, meaning there is a danger to life.
“I am so proud of the way teams have rallied in response. They have dealt with hundreds of incidents, often working in challenging circumstances. In some situations, their efforts have been hampered by further bad weather or dangerous conditions.
“Crews have been prioritising emergency incidents and those critical in the aftermath of the storm, but there is still a substantial amount to do and the recovery will last well into the new year.
“This will obviously have a knock-on effect on day-to-day work, so we’d ask people to appreciate that it is going to take some time to get through the backlog.
“We thank residents for their patience and continued support. It’s heartening to see that, despite the huge impact the storm has had, the borough’s sense of community spirit is still strong.”