Flooding risk for Northumberland

TORRENTIAL rain has caused the risk of localised flooding across Northumberland.

Flood wardens are on alert as the Met Office has put out a severe weather warning for the North East, with up to 60mm of rain expected to fall over higher ground, including the Cheviots, by midnight tonight.

And the Environment Agency has issued Flood Alerts for the Upper Coquet and coastal rivers in north Northumberland.

The Gazette has been told that the River Coquet has burst its banks in Rothbury as has the Wreigh Burn in Thropton.

Warnings have been given for standing water on roads as well as spray and the Institute of Advanced Motorists has issued a series of precautions for drivers to follow:

* Drive on the highest section of the road and don’t set off if a vehicle is approaching you

* Leave time and space to avoid swamping other cars and pedestrians

* Drive slowly and keep going once you have started – make sure you have a clear run. In a manual car, keep the revs high by ‘slipping the clutch’ (which means the clutch is not fully engaged) all the time you are in the water

* If you can’t see where you are going to come out of the water, such as when approaching flooding on a bend, think twice about starting to drive into it

* In deep water never take your foot off the accelerator, as this could allow water to travel up the exhaust pipe

* Once you’re out of the water, dry the brakes before you need them. The best way is to lightly apply the brake as you drive along for a few seconds, after checking nothing is following you too closely.

The River Coquet at Rothbury is reported to be high and residents expect its banks to burst today because of the amount of rain.

If you know of any flooding in your area or have pictures send them to northumberland.gazette@northeast-press.co.uk