Retailers in the North East are recovering after high winds and heavy flooding attacked stores yesterday.

Ikea’s Metro Park West Retail Park store in Gateshead suffered water damage, one retailer’s store was “a write off” and two large shopping centres were flooded as the weather played havoc with retailers’ and shoppers alike.

An Ikea spokesman said: “We had some water damage and had to evacuate the store yesterday afternoon. There was some stock damage but we hope to open this afternoon.”

James Barker, managing director of furniture store Barker and Stonehouse, said its Metro Centre retail park store was a “write off”. He also said his Newcastle city centre store had suffered some damage.

Staff at the Metrocentre and Elden Square centres worked through the night to clear up the shopping hubs to ensure they stayed open.

A spokeswoman for Capital Shopping Centres, which owns both the Metrocentre, said: “Our staff have done a fantastic job working through the night to complete the clean up operation and ensure the centres are clean and safe for shoppers today.”

She added: “Our management teams also made sure shoppers could return home safely. We had two shoppers at Metrocentre who, due to the weather, were unable to return home yesterday to South Shields and we arranged for them to stay overnight in the management suite, providing bedding and everything else necessary for a comfortable night.”

Metrocentre also assisted the police to provide accommodation for a Hungarian visitor who had become separated from her party.