Mayor thanks those in flood rescue operations

Residents are forced to abandon their homes in North Shields.

Residents are forced to abandon their homes in North Shields.

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BOROUGH Mayor Linda Arkley has paid tribute to those behind the rescue response following the torrential downpours and flooding yesterday.

Emergency services, health services, voluntary organisations, North Tyneside Council and the community rallied to respond to people stranded in their homes and businesses as the waters rose.

The council enacted its emergency response plan and set up a rest centre for residents unable to stay in their homes.

“I want to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been involved in this response, “said Mrs Arkley.

“I know this remarkable downpour, which caused flooding across the borough, has been a very frightening experience for people involved.

“Partners rallied together to make sure the vulnerable were safe and well and targeted the resources to where they were needed.”

More than 200 incidents included evacuating 12 residents with learning disabilities from Manor Park Care Home in Whitley Bay; coming to the aid of residents on oxygen therapy, and coming to the aid of a 101-year old woman and her 75-year-old son.

And residents in Brantwood Avenue, West Monkseaton and Chicken Road, Wallsend had to evacuate by boat as the water rose.

She added: “Now we are focusing on the clean-up and checking the damage left behind.

“I will be touring the borough today with officers to check the extent of the damage.

“I will also be seeking a meeting with partners, including Northumbrian Water to find out whether the major investment they put into North Tyneside has made a difference.

“And we need to speak to Nexus as the collapse of the Metro embankment at the rear of Brantwood Avenue resulted in the devastation for residents.

“We will all be asking ourselves what went well, but also whether there is anything that we could improve on.”

The council’s rest centre was staffed by North Tyneside Council and health staff, the WRVS, and caterers.

People who were rescued from their flooded homes were assessed and were able to be accommodated in bed and breakfast accommodation or with relatives overnight.

For the latest information on the council buildings and schools that are closed visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk