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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Cumbria battered by wind, rain and tidal surges

A major clean-up operation is underway after around 150 tonnes of debris were dumped on a Cumbrian road as extreme weather batters the county.

Cumbria County Council’s highways maintenance teams have managed to reopen some of the roads affected by the weather but some require more major clear-up work and remain closed.

The combination of exceptionally strong winds, severe rainfall and high tides has left tonnes of debris on some roads, with council engineers currently assessing the level of damage.

Workington Viaduct has now been cleared and is reopened.

Eskmeals has now been cleared after about 150 tonnes of debris was dumped on the road by huge waves.

Dubmill Point to Silloth remains closed and appears to have suffered substantial damage, with a full structural inspection needed.

The road will remain closed until at least Monday. Drivers must obey Road Closed signs, and police are understood to have been issuing on-the-spot fines to drivers attempting to drive through and ignore them, the county council says.

Meanwhile the coastal rail line running between Carlisle and Workington has reopened. The line was blocked and buses were running between the stations for a period this afternoon.

Northern Rail says trains are now operating again but may be delayed by up to 20 minutes.

Gusts of up to 70mph are being forecast in parts of Cumbria and several roads have been closed.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for wind in the north west, including Cumbria, on Saturday and Sunday.

Winds are expected to increase in speed on Saturday, with gusts widely to 50 to 60 mph, and locally to around 70 mph on exposed coasts in the west.

There is also a warning that large waves could lead to over-topping along some coastlines and the public should be aware.

Karl Melville, highways and transport manager for west Cumbria, said: “It has been another busy and challenging day for our highways maintenance teams, with some severe conditions and a lot of debris left on coastal roads.

"High tide has now passed, so we are out in force on the clear-up task. However, there is the threat of more disruption later, particularly when the next high tide is due at 1am.

“It’s not a day to be driving unless you have to, and then I would urge caution given the possibility of debris and standing water on the roads.”

Cumbria police are advising people to avoid putting themselves in danger by taking photos high tides around the coast.

Police have taped off the road alongside the marina at Harrington harbour to prevent vehicle access.

It comes amid reports of huge waves crashing over the marina wall, although the wall is not expected to breach.

Several road closures across the county are also currently in place:

  • Hardknott and Wrynose Passes are considered closed due to icy road conditions.
  • The B5300 at Dubmill Point is also closed due to the high tide and strong winds, diversions are in place. The road will remain closed until at least Monday, pending a structural inspection.
  • The A592 Kirkstone Pass was closed for recovery of vehicles involved in a collision yesterday. It will remain closed today due to snow and be reassessed tomorrow.
  • Church Street in Workington was closed due to flooding but has now reopened.
  • Mealpot Road in Maryport is flooded and motorists have been advised to avoid it.
  • Hazardous driving conditions due to strong winds were reported on the M6 between Tebay and Penrith. 50 mph speed restrictions were in place.
  • The A66 is closed to high sided vehicles between Brough and Bowes.
  • The A595 at Muncaster was temporarily closed at lunchtime after high tides left a large amount of debris on the road. This has now been cleared and is open again.
  • The A5087 between Rampside and Newbiggin is closed due to high sea levels and debris being washed onto road.
  • B5282 Sandside Road in Arnside closed in both directions between the Black Dyke Road junction and the A6 Church Street.

National Rail says trains on the Lancaster/Barrow to Carlisle are returning to normal after flooding near Kirkby-in-Furness.

Trains were unable to operate between Barrow and Millom so buses were being used between these stations, causing delays of up to 45 minutes.

Today's Workington Reds v Oxford City football game has been called off because the Borough Park pitch is waterlogged.

Have you got any photos of conditions where you are? Send them here and we'll add them to our coverage.

Have your say

Mealpot Road floods regularly.

Posted by Alan on 2 February 2014 at 19:08

albert you seem a clever boy next time you are in maryport id like to show you round moat hill and if you keep it a secret ill sell it to you.

Posted by rabbit on 2 February 2014 at 14:33

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