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Last Updated: Friday, 7 January, 2005, 15:56 GMT
Region battered in weather chaos
Motorway at night
Drivers have been warned about windy conditions
Weather conditions were causing havoc for homeowners and commuters across the North East and Cumbria on Friday.

At one point more than 6,000 properties were without power after trees fell on overhead cables.

Driving restrictions were in place in some parts of Cumbria after winds up to 70mph led to accidents.

There were flood warnings across the entire region, and Ovingham Bridge over the River Tyne was closed due to rising water levels.

The bridge is expected to remain closed over the weekend.

Possible flooding

A diversion was in place for drivers, and a free bus service provided for train users who use the bridge to access Ovingham Railway Station from the village.

Electricity supply company NEDL said engineers had worked to restore power to all but about 600 properties, mainly in County Durham, by lunchtime.

In Cumbria, high-sided vehicles were banned from using the A66 at Stainmoor, between Brough and Bowes.

Cumbria Police said a lane of the westbound carriageway had to be closed after a lorry driver ignored the restrictions and the vehicle was blown over.

The Environment Agency warned of possible flooding across the region.

A flood watch was issued for rivers and streams in parts of Tyneside, Teesside and Wearside, and all watercourses in Cumbria.

General flooding alerts were also made for the rivers Tyne, Rede in Northumberland, as well as the Wear and Tees.

Residents living close to areas likely to be affected are advised to tune into weather bulletins and keep a close eye on water levels.

Some electric rail services were also being hit by delays, although diesel services were running normally.

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24 Dec 04 |  West Yorkshire
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23 Dec 04 |  West Yorkshire
Police advise against M6 travel
22 Dec 04 |  Cumbria

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