Cumbria flood victims to be aided with £50,000 fund

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Media captionGeoff Walker from St Bees said a wall of water demolished three protective walls, flooding his and his neighbour's homes.

A £50,000 relief fund has been set up for householders worst affected by damaging flash floods which struck west Cumbria on Thursday.

Hundreds of homes were flooded and a landslide derailed a train carrying staff to the Sellafield nuclear plant.

It is thought many of those affected will not be able to return to their homes for up to 18 months.

The Cumbria Community Foundation said grants of up to £1,000 would aid people with clean-up and recovery costs.

'Very sad'

Dozens of families have been moved into temporary accommodation, while others are staying with relatives.

Egremont, St Bees, Beckermet, Gosforth, Ravenglass and Seascale were among the worst-hit areas.

Image caption A train carrying Sellafield workers was derailed near St Bees

Foundation spokesman Andrew Beeforth said the fund, which uses cash donated by the nuclear industry, would prioritise people over 70, families with children under five and those with disabilities or on low incomes.

"It is so very sad that once again people's lives are being turned upside down by flooding," he said.

"We are pleased to say we are now in a position to immediately help those who need it most.

"Application forms are available from the foundation's website.

Copeland Borough Council supplied clean-up teams in the areas most affected.

'Support and comfort'

Council leader Elaine Woodburn said: "It has been very traumatic for the residents affected by the flooding.

"We have been working with the emergency services and others to provide support and comfort.

"We have representatives here from local housing associations so that they could discuss their accommodation needs along with other sources of information and advice."

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "Officers are continuing to assess affected areas to identify the precise causes of flooding and to see if any additional work is needed to maintain levels of flood protection."

One flood alert remains in place for the upper Derwent from Seathwaite to Derwent Water.

Cumbria County Council said a stretch of the U4090 road in Gosforth had been closed because of flood damage.

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