Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Saturday, 18 July 2009 14:18 UK

Torrential rain causes floods

Flooding in Durham
The River Wear burst its banks in Durham City

Homes have been evacuated and streets flooded after north-east England suffered heavy downpours.

Part of Durham city centre was left under water after the River Wear burst its banks.

Morpeth and Rothbury in Northumberland, which were devastated by flooding last September, were also affected, with a number of homes evacuated.

And on Teesside, the 19th annual Middlesbrough Mela was cancelled after the event site became waterlogged.

Crowds of more than 30,000 had been expected to attend to the multi-cultural festival at the town's Albert Park over the weekend.

However, organisers said that two newly-released Asian films due to be shown as part of the festival would still be screened on Sunday and Monday evenings.

Celebratory barbecue

Other events cancelled included the Music in the Park Festival in Ponteland, and a classical music concert at Gibside, near Gateshead.

In Durham City the river level was about 12ft (4m) above normal, with a large part of the administrative quarter under water.

Buildings affected included the Passport Office, the National Savings and Investment Offices, and the Radisson Hotel.

Flooding in Rothbury
People had to be moved out of their homes in Rothbury

Northumbria Police said 14 people had to leave their homes in the Maltings area of Rothbury, because of rising water levels.

Some of them had only just returned to their homes after flooding last September.

Local councillor, Steven Bridget said: "They'd had a barbecue last month to celebrate getting back in.

"We haven't had a chance to had a look at the state of their houses yet, but certainly the front courtyard was under water."

Service on the Tyne and Wear Metro was suspended between Benton and Shiremoor, after floodwater washed soil and other waste onto the tracks.

The Environment Agency had issued 58 flood warnings around the North East, with a severe flood warning for the Millburngate area of Durham City.

Rain had eased later on Saturday morning, but drivers were being warned to beware of standing water on roads.



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SEE ALSO
Festival cancelled by downpours
17 Jul 09 |  Tees
'Lessons to be learned' on floods
22 Apr 09 |  Tyne
Heavy rain causes travel problems
17 Jul 09 |  England
Heavy rain causes traffic misery
16 Jul 09 |  England
Flood alert radar site goes live
15 Jul 09 |  Wear

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