A young mum almost drowned when she fell down a manhole during the Newcastle superstorm.
Rachel Todd had been celebrating her grandfather Jack Todd’s 76th birthday when the rain began lashing down outside.
As water poured into her grandparents home in Holmlea, Dipton, near Stanley, County Durham the 23-year-old ran outside to move the cars from the driveway.
But the increasing flood water had concealed a manhole and Rachel plummeted down it.
"We were just making the tea when it just started lashing down and within half an hour it started coming into the house,” said Rachel, who has a three-year-old daughter Summah.
"The manhole cover outside their house in the drive must have come off and I totally forgot it was there and the water was that deep you could not see anything.
"It was up to my knees and I couldn’t see the manhole and I just went down it.
"I felt my feet go down and my whole body went down. My head went under.
"The manhole was at my waist and I was completely underwater, it was terrifying."
Rachel said she was sure she would have drowned if her cousin Liam had not been there to pull her back up.
She said: "I am just glad it was me and not my grandparents who fell down the hole."
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