Cumbria Storm downgraded after county suffered minor disruptions

by Rachael Grealish

  • Flooding by the River Ehen on the industrial estate - photo by Robert Haile

Flood alert levels for Cumbria have been downgraded from yesterday’s (Saturday November 14) amber alert after the county suffered significantly less rain than predicted.

The multi-agency response has been stood down after Cumbria suffered minor disruptions during the night.

Egremont was one of the areas most at risk and police had previously warned people living in flood-risk areas to consider self-evacuating.

There was a small number of evacuations during the evening and the early hours of the morning.

Assistant Chief Constable Darren Martland, Chair of the multi-agency group, said:

“We are pleased that the weather has caused less disruption than first predicted. We still have a number of areas suffering from localised flooding, however we are now in a position to reassure the public that the risk of severe flooding has dropped significantly.

“Partner agencies have worked together tirelessly over the past 24 hours in order to take precautionary action as initial indications suggested that areas such as Egremont and Kendal were at risk of severe flooding. The response by the multi-agency partnership was excellent and shows that our co-ordinated approach and plans are well tested for such events.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their patience throughout the past 24 hours and remind them of our advice that, while the risk of flooding has been downgraded, a number of the county’s roads are still of particular concern due to standing surface water.”

Rain is forecast throughout the day and river levels will remain high. The county’s roads continue to be an area of concern due to surface water

Keith Ashcroft, of the Environment Agency, said: “We are working closely with the Met Office and the Flood Forecasting Centre to predict likely totals and how that may affect river levels. We have seen over 200mm over the Western Fells in the last 24 hours with more heavy rainfall to come throughout today and into tonight. Flooding is still possible.

“We have removed the severe Flood Warnings in Kendal and Egremont. However, river levels remain higher than normal and there is heavy rain forecast for the next few days. Given this flood warnings and Flood Alerts remain in place in across Cumbria and Lancashire.

“We currently have 10 Flood Warnings and 14 Flood Alerts in force across Cumbria and Lancashire. With heavy rain predicted over the weekend there is potential for further warnings and alerts to be issued.

“People should check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation at https://www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding or follow @EnvAgencyNW and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates.

“With already saturated catchments, Environment Agency teams continue to maintain flood defences, clear blockages in watercourses, monitor water levels and issue flood warnings where necessary. People need to remain vigilant, know your flood risk and be careful driving through flood water.

“We urge people to take care and be prepared by checking their flood risk, signing up to free flood warnings and keeping an eye on the latest flood updates via local media, .gov.uk and Twitter. People can also call our 24-hour Floodline – 0345 988 1188.”

David Sykes, South Lakeland District Council’s Director of People and Places, said: “We are pleased that the severe flooding impacts did not happen in the end and we are very grateful to the community for their understanding during these preparations.

“The council is also grateful for the support of the many volunteers, council staff and other agencies that worked so hard on the arrangements that we had in place.’’

Should your property be affected by a flood please be extremely careful and do not touch any electrical equipment or power cables. To report a power cut or damage to the power network contact Electricity North West on 0800 195 4141, follow @ElectricityNW or visit www.electricitynorthwest.co.uk.

For more information about flood alerts, visit http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx

Visit the Traffic Link map at http://www.cumbria.police.uk/traffic-link-map to keep up to date with the latest situation on the roads.

To keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts, visit the Met Office website: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

Tune in to your local BBC Radio station to keep up to date with road and school closures and other community issues: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/cumbria/

You can also contact the Cumbria Highways Hotline on 0845 609 6609.