RIVERSIDE areas along the Tyne remained on flood alert this morning after the district took a battering from torrential rain and gales.

Two severe flood warnings remain in force at Corbridge.

Families were forced to evacuate their homes in Wellbank after the Tyne burst its banks and flood water headed towards the properties on Saturday.

Flood barriers on the southern bank of the river, strengthened after the 2005 flood, held firm until mid-afternoon when the defences were overtopped.

The Environment Agency does not expect river levels to drop to below the top of the barrier until midday.

The Station Road area remained cordoned off this morning, as emergency services continue their battle to keep waters at bay.

A total of 49 houses in Corbridge have been evacuated. A rest centre was set up in the Priory School, in Hexham, for affected residents. The centre was established by Northumberland County Council’s civil contingencies team.

There were a number of properties flooded in Haltwhistle and Haydon Bridge.

At Hexham, where a less severe flood warning remains in place, areas of Tyne Green, Anick Road and Bridge End were under water on Saturday.

Fire crews were called in to evacuate  around 20 residents trapped by flood water at the Riverside caravan park at Tyne Green. Boats had to be used to ferry some of them to safety.

At Haydon Bridge, John Martin Street and Church Street were under water after the South Tyne burst its banks on Saturday. More than a dozen families were evacuated.

A flood warning is also still in place at Low Prudhoe and Ovingham. On Saturday, newly-opened Ovingham Bridge was closed and the exit roads to the east and west were also flooded and impassable.

The Ovingham-Wylam road was cut off in a couple of places. This left the narrow Horsley road as the only route out of the village.

The Tyne Riverside Park was completely under water. Emergency services and an emergency RSPCA team were called out to rescue a horse stranded in a flooded field close to the river at Bridge End, Ovingham.

A flood warning in place at Warden on Saturday was lifted by Sunday morning.

There are hopes the worst of the weather is over. The winds relented overnight, and the Met Office forecast is for the rain to peter out this morning, followed by periods of sunshine.

But the Environment Agency has warned that it may take some time before river levels drop in the Tyne Valley.

The A69 is reported to be closed between Hexham and Brampton, because of problems caused by flooding.

Police are warning that there will be flooding on most roads and problems caused by fallen trees. Their advice is to make only essential journeys this morning.