Storm Update - 28 Nov, 2021 5:40pm
Every available resource has been deployed in an extensive clean-up operation across South Tyneside.
Teams from the Council and South Tyneside Homes have made significant progress in dealing with damage wreaked by Storm Arwen, however considerable work is still required, and the response will continue for several days.
The Council's priority is to protect life, including that of staff and contractors working at the scene. Secondly, the protection of property and assets have been prioritised.
An unprecedented number of trees have blown down, with the Council receiving calls relating to 163 locations - both council and privately-owned - across the borough. Teams have so far completed 80 on-site assessments in the high priority category, with 60 trees removed or made safe. Assessments will continue over the coming days and extra contractors will be brought in from tomorrow to target cemeteries and parks.
The Council and South Tyneside Homes have also received 45 reports of structural damage and the response to incidents is ongoing.
Haven Point in South Shields is closed due to storm damage and is expected to remain so for some time. Customers will be updated with further information as the situation develops.
Trow Quarry car park is also closed, due to ice and an accumulation of sand on the access road.
A number of road closures remain in place across the Borough, to address significant safety concerns and to allow the clean-up of debris by limiting through traffic. Diversions are in place with local access permitted.
A closure at Station Road, East Boldon, requires the assessment of live electricity cables by Northern Powergrid, who are prioritising 58,000 residents who are still without power.
A full list of road closures can be found at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/stormarwen which will be updated periodically with the latest information available.
Gritting operations are ongoing, focusing on major roads, bus routes and steep banks as well as priority footpaths in shopping areas, around schools and on steps and footbridges with pre-gritting taking place on priority routes as and when the temperature drops. A new, live interactive gritting map can be viewed at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/gritting
All schools are assessing their sites, and St Matthew's RC Primary School, Jarrow, and West Boldon School have confirmed they will be closed tomorrow. Ashley Primary School in South Shields will have a partial school closure affecting only the Child Development Centre. Updates will be posted on the council website at www.southyneside.gov.uk/schoolclosures
A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council said: "Crews have been working round the clock and have made significant progress, but the storm has had a major impact on the borough and there is still a lot more to be done.
"We're monitoring the situation and continue to respond to incidents on a priority basis. Over the coming days, teams will be able to start clearing more debris and looking at minor works. In the meantime, people should be cautious, particularly children in areas like our parks where there could be fallen trees and branches.
"Although the wind has subsided, we are currently experiencing a cold snap and temperatures are expected to be below freezing again overnight.
"Where possible, we'd advise people to stay at home, but if out and about, we'd urge people to take care, as it may be slippery.
"We'd also encourage residents to look out for each other, checking in on neighbours, elderly or vulnerable people if they can.
"Emergency incidents should still be reported on the out of hours phone lines. Please be patient and understand that response times to calls will take longer than usual."
Incidents can be reported on two out of hours emergency phone numbers:
- 0191 455 6111 - South Tyneside Council
- 0300 123 6633 - South Tyneside Homes
Council staff are on call 24 hours per day 365 days per year to respond to emergencies received out of normal office hours.
For more information, please follow Council social media feeds or visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/stormarwen
For up-to-the-minute public transport information visit www.nexus.org.uk