Storm Babet: Top ripped off South Shields lighthouse as waves batter the coast

The lighthouse at South Shields has lost its top in Storm Babet. Credit: PA

People are being warned to take care as strong winds and rain hit the North East on Friday.

Storm Babet is causing disruption across the region, with yellow warnings for wind and rain in place.

On Friday, children at some schools were being sent home early while there is also widespread disruption on the rail network.

In South Shields, the lighthouse lost its top in the storm, as huge waves battered the structure on Friday.

The Port of Tyne authority said it was not safe to assess the damage to the lighthouse due to the ongoing dangerous sea conditions.

No traffic is going in and out of the river with 6m of sea swell, it said.

The public have been urged to keep away from the area, particularly the piers, by the port authority, due to the unsafe weather conditions.

Built in 1895, the lighthouse is located on the River Tyne South Pier.

A Port of Tyne spokesman said: “Initial assessments indicate that the top dome of the lighthouse has been dislodged by the severe weather conditions.

“Unfavorable weather is expected to continue for several days, making immediate inspections unfeasible.

“However, a comprehensive evaluation of both the North and South pier structures and lighthouses will be conducted as soon as safety permits.

“Shipping activities have been temporarily suspended due to the persistent adverse weather conditions, with little expectation of resuming within the next 24 to 48 hours.

“Both the North and South Piers will remain closed until inspections can be completed, prioritising the safety of all individuals.

“We strongly advise the public to avoid visiting the piers during this time.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and take necessary measures to ensure the safety of our community.”

In Seaburn, near Sunderland, sea foam covered the beach and sea front as high winds affected the area.

Sea foam covered the road in Seaburn, near Sunderland. Credit: PA

The Shields Ferry is to remain suspended until Sunday. A replacement bus is running today (20 October) via the Tyne Tunnel and will continue until Saturday from 7am until 11pm.

Train services have also been disrupted.

A tree is blocking all lines between Newcastle and Carlisle, delaying and cancelling services. Disruption is expected until 5pm.

LNER has cancelled all of its services until at least 4pm.

Services on the Tyne and Wear Metro are also suspended between St James' and North Shields in both directions due to a tree falling onto a Metro in the Byker area.

Staff on site have advised that it will take a number of hours to remove the tree, Metro operators Nexus said.

Yarm Fair, an annual event on Teesside, has been cancelled tonight due to the adverse weather conditions.

A spokesperson said the decision had been made for the safety of all involved. The situation will be monitored and it is hoped the fair will be able to reopen on Saturday.

The following flood warnings are in place in the North East and North Yorkshire:

  • Tyne estuary at North Shields, South Shields and Howdon Pans: Areas at risk include properties at Fish Market, Bell Street, Dolphin Quay, Union Quay, Clive Street, Duke Street, Liddell Street, Corporation Quay, South Shields Ferry Landing, Wapping Street, Tyne Dock, Albert Edward Dock, Tyne Foyboatmen Association and Howdon Pans.

  • North Sea at Cowbar: Properties in North Side beside Staithes Beck and Staithes Harbour in Cowbar.

  • North Sea at Sandsend: The sea front and properties adjacent to A174.

  • North Sea at Scarborough -Sandside: Properties around the OId Harbour.

Flood gates at Yarm, Morpeth and Rothbury have been closed.

A van driving through sea foam in Seaburn, Sunderland. Credit: PA

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