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Thursday, 25 December 2014

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Fire service swamped with calls as flash floods hit Cumbria

Firefighters in Cumbria were inundated with reports of flooding from members of the public following torrential rain yesterday.

In total, almost 50 calls were received about flooding incidents, of which more than 35 were attended. Advice was given to the other callers, says the brigade.

Homes in Dalston, Raughton Head, Wigton, Rosley, Hesket Newmarket and Stockdalewath areas were badly hit by flash floods.

There were 11 flood alerts and a further two flood warnings for the Rivers Eden and Caldew, roads were flooded and shops closed. Flood defences in Carlisle were put up as a precaution.

Both the A595 and A596 roads were closed for a time after flooding.

Police closed the A595 between Mealsgate and Red Dial which had become increasingly impassable due to numerous floods along the road. It was shut between the two junctions and motorists were urged to follow diversions onto the A596, which was itself later closed to traffic.

Train services between Carlisle and Workington were disrupted. There was a landslip on the coastal line, said Northern Rail.

Hesket Newmarket, near Caldbeck, was hit by severe flooding with several homes being flooded and the village green completely submerged.

The Roe Beck at Stockdalewath burst its banks after rising more than a metre in 90 minutes. Residents battled to prevent flooding of properties.

Firefighters were called to help stop a home from flooding in Edgehill Road, Harraby, as well as receiving reports of potential flooding in Cumwhinton.

A spokesman said that they were turned back from this job after residents managed to clear the flood water themselves.
Kingmoor Road, in Carlisle, also flooded, leaving a motorist stranded.

And at 6.50pm yesterday, a fire crew from Wigton was called to rescue three people stuck in a car in flood water at Moorhouse Mill, Aikton.

Elsewhere, there were reports of flood water coming through the ceiling of the old Coop building in Dalston and water getting into electric circuits in Boots, in Carlisle city centre, leading to the store being evacuated for safety reasons.

The Environment Agency issued flood alerts for the Rivers Caldew and Petteril, including Greystoke, Newton Reigny, Plumpton, Stockdalewath, Sebergham and Denton Holme in Carlisle.

There was also an alert for the  River Eden from its confluence with the River Irthing through Crosby-on-Eden and Carlisle to the Solway Firth at Rockcliffe, and for Langwathby, Lazonby, Kirkoswald, Armathwaite, Wetheral and Warwick-on-Eden.

Stanwix football club's annual gala day was called off because of the rain. The event, which is being rearranged for Saturday, May 28, was abandoned first thing in the morning.

The plant and craft fair at Chances Park in Carlisle was also cancelled.

An opening party to celebrate the installation of a new heat pump at Lazonby's outdoor swimming pool was delayed until today (Sunday) because of the weather.

A spokesman for Cumbria police said officers were working in partnership with the Environment Agency and other organisations to reduce the impact upon local communities.

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