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Last Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008, 15:48 GMT
Rain and snow bring travel chaos
Snow in Northumberland
Many roads were closed due to heavy snow
Heavy snow and rain has brought chaos to many parts of the North East and Cumbria, with roads and schools closed.

Travellers were warned not to attempt journeys unless essential, as up to 6ins (15cm) of snow fell in parts of Northumberland and County Durham.

Many parts of Cumbria, including Carlisle which suffered devastating floods in 2005, were again hit by rising water levels.

Forecasters predicted more snow and rain for most of the region.

Gritters were scrambled in County Durham and Northumberland as snow quickly took its toll on schools, with several in the Consett are forced to close.

Upland areas of Weardale and Teesdale were also badly affected by snow.

In Cumbria, a string of road closures were announced as the county reported several inches of rain falling in a matter of hours.

Gritters were out in force in Northumberland
Gritters were out in force in Northumberland

Among those worst affected was the A6 at Carlton, the A69 between Corby Hill and Brampton, the A689 at Kilhope and the B5305 from Wigton to Rosley, according to Cumbria Police.

Several primary schools were also closed as approach roads became impassable.

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said: "Highways crews are working hard to tackle the situation on the roads, but the sheer volume of water is causing problems.

"The land is saturated with rainwater and cannot absorb any more.

"Consequently rainwater is running off fields and onto roads and pavements. With rivers full and the ground saturated there is nowhere for the water to go and no scope to channel road surface water away.

"The specific combination of torrential rain, water run off from the ground and the freezing conditions expected tonight make the situation particularly precarious."

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The impact of the winter weather across the region



SEE ALSO
Floods cause road and rail chaos
21 Jan 08 |  England
Severe flooding alerts for town
21 Jan 08 |  Bradford
Flood fears as river levels rise
21 Jan 08 |  Lincolnshire
Water levels dropping on Thames
21 Jan 08 |  Oxfordshire

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