Storm Ciara: Cumbria begin clean-up after flooding

Appleby Co-op flooding
Image caption Stock was washed away at Appleby Co-op in the flooding on Sunday

Homeowners and businesses across Cumbria are beginning a clean-up after Storm Ciara brought flooding to much of the county.

Appleby was worst-hit where residents battled to save their homes from the River Eden which swamped the town.

More than 150mm (6in) of rain fell in the county in 24 hours, with water levels in Appleby within 2ft of those seen during Storm Desmond in 2015.

One local councillor said it had been "horrific" for people in the town.

Other parts of Cumbria, including Kendal, Keswick and Shap were also hit by flooding, although there were no reports of injuries.

More on Storm Ciara disruption

There was concern areas of the Eden Valley could lose water supplies after the storm left engineers unable to complete repairs to a water pipe at the Watchgate water Treatment works, near Kendal.

United Utilities has set up water stations in places expected to be affected, and a number of schools have sent children home.

On Sunday much of Appleby town centre was overcome with the local Co-op one and a first responders group the victims of flooding.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Residents in Appleby were faced with a significant clean-up operation 24 hours after the flooding
Image copyright PA Media
Image caption They battled to keep floodwaters out of their homes on Sunday

Karen Morley-Chesworth's home in Appleby was flooded for the second time in five years.

She said: "We were lucky this time, we only had about five cms in the house. Last time in 2015 we had two metres.

"We have great flood volunteers here who knocked on the door and gave us a warning on Saturday night.

"Last time we put a £50,000 claim in to the insurance company and it took eight months to get back in to the house.

"This time the only damage we have is to the floor and washing machine and [we] should be back in, in a matter of days."

Image caption Karen Morley-Chesworth's house was flooded for the second time in five years

Andrew Connell, chairman of Eden District Council, lives in Appleby and said: "Storm Desmond was billed as a once-in-a-century event, and here it is happening again barely four years later.

"The river in the end rose to within 2ft of the level it achieved in Storm Desmond in December 2015.

"This was horrific for those people who saw what was happening.

"Having said that, there was greater awareness and preparation. We now have an Appleby emergency response group, who had been alerted to the storm, although no-one knew how high the river was going to get.

"There was simply more water than people expected.

"People who had water barriers were able to put them up, so the response group performed valiantly."

Image caption Appleby's Co-op was swamped with floodwater
Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The North West Ambulance Service first responders group premises in Appleby was flooded
Image caption Properties in Carlisle's Warwick Road narrowly escaped being flooded on Sunday night

Residents in Carlisle's Warwick Road narrowly escaped flooding after the River Petteril burst its banks. The nearby bus station was evacuated as a precaution.

Travellers face another day of disruption with rail companies warning of more cancellations and delays.

A number of roads remain closed throughout Cumbria including the St Lawrence Bridge in Appleby, the A686 Langwathby Bridge and the A591 at Dodd Wood.

The West Coast Main Line was suspended between Carlisle and Glasgow due to flooding at Caldew Viaduct.

A Met Office weather warning for snow and ice is due to come into force for most of Cumbria from 15:00 GMT.

Electricity North West said the majority of more than 3,000 people who lost power on Sunday had been reconnected.

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