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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Community rallies behind Cumbrian flash flood victims

Community spirit has been running high throughout west Cumbria as people help others get back on their feet following the devastating floods.

Flash floods caused dozens of houses in Egremont, St Bees, Beckermet, Gosforth, Seascale and Moresby to fill with water in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Since then residents have been working around the clock cleaning up.

In Beckermet teamwork has led to one of the village’s pubs opening up less than 24 hours after it was ravaged by flood water.

A team of around 30 villagers took the day off work on Thursday to help in the big clean up of the White Mare Hotel. Miraculously the hotel opened its doors again on Thursday night and yesterday business was back to normal with food being served.

The two ground-floor bedrooms – which residents had to be rescued from as they filled with flood water - are now the only parts of the hotel to be affected,

Landlord Phil Ward said: “The people of Beckermet were wonderful. We had around 30 volunteers who rang into their workplace to take the day off to help out and get us back open.”

And Mr Ward himself is showing community spirit by giving his next-door neighbours, Juliet and Zach Hudson, a roof over their heads after they were flooded out of their beckside home.

“It’s what we do here in Beckermet,” said Mr Ward. “We all help each other out.”

Another business getting back on its feet is the Blackbeck Inn, near Beckermet. Again, a team of volunteers helped with the big clean-up of the hotel which is owned by Ken O’Hara and Belinda Taylor.

It was the second tragedy the couple suffered in a week as two days earlier their home in Egremont collapsed into the River Ehen.

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