"Yesterday was the most unexpected and worst storm I have ever experienced in my life." This is a statement being said by just about everyone today, regardless of their ages. Everyone has a tale to tell. No matter where you lived around the Newcastle area, and beyond, you were in the eye of the storm. Thunder, very regular lightning, torrential rain and hailstones. Flooding in areas which never flood. A canoe down a street in a housing estate, folk literally swimming to get past the worst areas. Cars left, abandoned for safety reasons.
The Gateshead Metro Centre, it used to be the the largest shopping centre in UK , now I think the second largest, was evacuated at 4. 30 pm. water was gushing into the shops. If you can imagine the number of cars which were there, all leaving at the same time, a mass exodus. Some roads were found to be closed, others totally grid locked because of the volume of traffic. A little story I have is of my 17 yr old grandson who was with his girlfriend, her mother and her mother at the Metro Centre, they were amongst those who had to leave. It took them from 4. 30 p.m. to 12. 30 a.m. yes, 8 hours to travel a normal 35 minutes journey. During the return trip, they ate all of the produce they had bought for tea for when they got home. Fortunately the chicken was cooked. The important news is they all arrived home, safe and well. Everything is drying up today, some schools and businesses, traffic systems have had to close for cleaning out the debris from yesterday. Indeed yesterday was a day I don't think many will forget.