Homes evacuated, roads flooded and bridges collapsed: parts of north east England are recovering after a downpour of heavy rain was unleashed.

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Emergency services were on call to rescue people from their homes and vehicles as heavy flood water hit the region on Friday evening.

Two cars were swept away in Saltburn as water flooded the roads, and a bridge was also caused to collapse.

Firefighters in Hartlepool and east Durham were busy redirecting water away from people's houses and across the region, firefighters received calls for assistance from 230 locations.

Dave Cocks, deputy launching authority at Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Redcar, said said the rain started mid-morning and "increased in ferocity" throughout the afternoon.

Flooding in Redcar began about 3pm, and hit areas such as Loftus and Skinningrove, peaking about 7pm. Mr Cocks said weather systems recorded 8mm of rainfall per hour.

"There's an area at Saltburn very close to the sea where two streams converge and then flow out to the sea," he said.

"They were both extremely swollen with flood water, and coincidentally there was quite a high tide. The initial report was that a bridge had collapsed and two cars swept into flood water, and two occupants had been carried out to sea.

"We were preparing to launch when we got a call saying the police helicopter and fire services were on the scene and were able to confirm that everyone had been accounted for."

Read Liam Dutton's warning of flash flood risks>

There have been no reports of injuries as a result of the flooding.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said properties in the Mersey Road area of Redcar were evacuated and all occupants have now been able to return. Several bungalows occupied by elderly residents are still inhabitable and temporary accommodation has been sought.