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Last Updated: Monday, 10 January, 2005, 13:46 GMT
Severe weather hits water supply
Power line storm damage
Staff have been working to repair damage to power lines
Thousands of homes have been left without water after high winds and poor weather battered northern England.

Two water mains supplying Hexham and the surrounding areas in Northumberland were washed away, leaving up to 10,000 homes without water.

Northumbrian Water is installing a new water main and hopes to have it available by Wednesday. Emergency water tanks have been set up.

About 7,000 people in the North East and Yorkshire are still without power.

Northumbrian Water has set up emergency water tanks in affected areas and is warning all water for drinking and cooking must be boiled.

Bogus officials

Cara Hall from Northumbrian Water said: "Because the water mains are actually submerged in the water, we are having to lay brand new water main.

"The repair that we are having to carry out is very difficult, it's awkward. We are having to lay 3km of new water main and as I am sure everyone can appreciate we are working in very difficult weather conditions."

Northumbria Police warned people in the Hexham area to be on their guard against bogus officials claiming to be from the water board.

A spokesman said Northumbrian Water had said its staff would not need access to homes and police warned people to check callers' identification.

John Bird, from Northern Electric Distribution (NEDL) said 10,000 people across the North East and Yorkshire were still without electricity first thing on Monday morning. By 1300 GMT, that had been cut to 7,000.

Extra staff from Northern Electric Distribution and Yorkshire Electricity Distribution have been working to repair the damage.

Schools closed

All schools in Hexham, Northumberland, were closed on Monday, except for pupils at Queen Elizabeth High taking A and AS-levels. Allendale Middle School and Beaufront First School, at Sandhoe, near Hexham, are also shut.

In County Durham, Broom Cottage Primary, Ferryhill, Grove Primary, Consett, and Shield Row Primary, Stanley, are closed.

Deerness Valley Comprehensive, in Usher Moor, is closed to all pupils including those due to take two GCSE exams, and Ebchester Primary, Howden-Le-Wear Primary and Neville's Cross Primary are also closed.

Durham Police warned motorists about high winds and said an HGV had blown over on the A1 near junction 61 in County Durham on Monday morning.

The A66 and A689 Newton Cap viaduct near Bishop Auckland were closed to high-sided vehicles and caravans.

Homes and roads hit by floods
07 Jan 05 |  North West Wales
Rain and winds causing problems
07 Jan 05 |  Scotland


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