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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June 2005, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Readers' accounts: Flash floods
BBC News website readers sent us their eyewitness accounts in the wake of the flash floods and freak weather which hit North Yorkshire and Newcastle on Sunday.

Motorcycle enthusiasts at the camp site in Duncombe Park, Helmsley, , 2005, after overnight flash flood
Many were left stunned by the ferocity of the storm
Nick Morgan, from Ainderby Steeple, North Yorkshire, spoke of the "incredible ferocity" of the floods.

"It was clear something unusual was in the offing when the thunder started in the afternoon," he said.

"I've never heard anything like it before, with more than an hour of continuous rumbling.

"There was also ice-cube sized hail that fell with incredible ferocity."

Clive Green was driving from Helmsley - which was one of the worst affected towns - on his way to Surbiton when he drove into the storm.

"It was quite scary," he said.

"This is the kind of storm that you expect to see in Texas, not North Yorkshire.

"The lightning was amazing.

"Fork lightning was flashing all around - not just single forks, but massive blasts of energy, like whole hands of lightening reaching down.

"The hail was so fierce I thought the car's body had been damaged.

"Some people just pulled over and gave up driving because the conditions were so bad."

'Nil visibility'

Chris Combe from Thirsk said: "The last time I saw a storm like that was when I was in the American Midwest during tornado season.

"As for the flooding, we knew something was up when we heard lots of sirens blaring as they headed towards Sutton Bank.

"There was a bit of flooding in Thirsk as well, but not as bad as in Helmsley.

"It's incredible to think how so much water fell in such a short time, especially as it had been so hot and sunny earlier in the day."

Reader Anthony Scott's picture of the floods in Helmsley

Chris from Leeds said: "I was driving in a small car from Scarborough to Ripon on the A170 when we drove into the storm.

"We were forced off the road at one point as the storm made visibility nigh on nil.

"Flood waters on the road were nearly in the car and the gearbox and brakes were unusable.

"We were looking for a place to leave the road when the car in front of us dropped into a ditch and was submerged up to its back window.

"After a while we had to continue on and needed to go down Sutton Bank, a 45-degree cliff face road, which had water gushing down it.

"Fire engines and ambulances were rushing past and car parts lay strewn on the road.

"Driving through Menston and Thirsk was like driving along the bank of a river. What a journey!"

'Too intense'

Readers in Newcastle were also affected by the heavy rain and flooding.

J Wright, from Newcastle upon Tyne said: "We were taking a leisurely walk to the Hoppings on Newcastle's Town Moor when the storm hit.

"It was electrifying. We had no cover but a bus stopped and the driver shouted at us to get onboard.

"The air and humidity was scary. I enjoy watching a storm but this was too intense.

"People were racing to their cars with their children in tears."

Michael Riley, from Gloucester, reflected on a lucky escape for the many motorcycle enthusiasts attending a festival in Helmsley.

"It's a relief that this didn't happen 24 hours earlier, as there were hundreds of bikers camping next to the river.

"One can only imagine what could have happened."

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