North East storms: Sandy beach lost to pounding waves

Blyth promenade
Northumberland Council said it was assessing the dangers at Blyth promenade

A warning has been issued after parts of the North East coast were damaged by storms.

Sand has been washed away from Blyth promenade, and there was a landslide at cliffs at Marsden Bay, South Shields.

LNER has reported "major disruption" on Thursday due to an electricity supply failure, with an hourly service running between Newcastle and Edinburgh.

A yellow weather warning for the region for heavy rain due to Storm Ciarán was lifted on Thursday evening.

The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning in Roker, Sunderland, and there are flood alerts at the rivers Pont and Blyth, and along the Tyne, Wear and Northumberland coast.

Dave Edwardson, who covers the North East, said people needed to remain "vigilant" and avoid flooded areas.

"There's always the risk of localised flooding," he said.

"We are not expecting widespread river flooding but there are risks remaining of significant impacts from surface water flooding."

Shannon Wilkey from Granny Annie's Pub and Pantry on the Roker seafront said the business was able to remain open but would close if it was given any advice over health and safety.

"As for now we are just trying to make the most of it," she told BBC Look North.

"It is a concern, if it does get to the building the tide can cause damage [but] we have got precautions in place.

"When we had a refurb we did extend the building in a way that would be more weatherproof than it was originally. You just have to do what you can do."

Durham Police said several roads - including the A19 - had been affected by heavy rain.

The Shields Ferry was also suspended as a precaution on Thursday due to a tidal swell caused by the storm. It comes after the North Shields ferry landing access ramp was damaged on Wednesday.

Some firework displays due to take place on Thursday, including at Segedunum Roman Fort, Wallsend, have been postponed until Friday due to the weather.

Gateshead Council announced the cancellation of the Saltwell Park display, saying "unprecedented levels of rainfall" had led to saturated grounds in the park.

The council statement said the event had been called off "with deep regret" following a safety inspection.

Northumberland Council said "most of the sand" had been removed from beaches near Blyth promenade, posing a "fall from height" risk.

It warned dog walkers to keep all pets on a lead, while the southern end of the promenade has been closed.

Colin Horncastle, cabinet member for the environment, said there had been a "major scour" of sand from its beaches.

"This has increased the height of the drop between the beach and the promenade at Blyth to such an extent that - in the interest of public safety - the council has taken the decision to close off the southern end and to place some other temporary barriers and warning signs out along the rest of the promenade until it is once again safe.

"This is not an easy decision. But the safety of our residents must take priority and we will monitor the situation and remove the barriers as soon as we are able to do so, as the beach naturally recharges with sand."

The National Trust has warned people to take care after heavy rain caused a landslide near Marsden Bay cliffs on Tuesday.

General manager Justin Scully said it had been "quite dramatic" and urged visitors to avoid walking under the cliffs and pay attention to barriers.

Marsden Bay
The cliff at Marsden Bay suffered a landslide after heavy rain earlier this week

"Periods of very wet weather like we're currently experiencing can make some stretches more prone than usual to rock falls and cliffs collapsing," he said.

"It's impossible to predict exactly when it will happen and we all need to be aware when walking on the clifftops, or on the beach below, that they may be unstable."

Transport issues

Train operator LNER has said it is "strongly advising" people not to travel on Thursday or Friday because of busy trains and short-notice cancellations.

Durham Police has warned drivers that several roads have been "significantly impacted" by surface water and restrictions are in place.

They include the A1(M) northbound between Bowburn and Carville, A19 at Castle Eden in both directions, A19 towards Sunderland northbound and A6072 between Heighington and Darlington.

The warnings were given as parts of north-east England flooded following heavy rain earlier this week.

A spokesperson for Durham County Council said the ground in Lanchester had already become saturated from Storm Babet when it flooded on Sunday.

Follow BBC North East on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram. Send your story ideas to