Carlisle race meeting abandoned as rain prompts more flood alerts

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Eleven flood alerts are now in force across Cumbria together with one warning as heavy rain continued to fall.

The Environment Agency says the flood warning – which means flooding is expected and action should be taken to prepare for it – has been issued for Keswick Campsite.

With rain not expected to ease off until late this afternoon, a Met Office Yellow Warning for rain across the North West.

The weather prompted officials to abandon today's National Hunt meeting at Carlisle Racecourse, while a ploughing contest at Brisco was also abandoned because of the rain.

Currently in force flood alerts – meaning that flooding is possible – include ones for the following river systems:

* The Caldew and Petteril in the Carlisle area;

* The Rivers Greata, St John's Beck, and Bassenthwaite Lake in the Keswick area;

* The Upper Derwent, Stonethwaite Beck, and Derwent Water;

* The Rivers Brathay, Rothay, and Winster;

* The Rivers Ehen, Calder, Irt and Esk;

* The Rivers Cocker, Marron and Derwent;

* And the Upper River Tees.

Environment Agency officials say that flooding is possible for Rivers Caldew and Petteril from the Lakeland Fells to their confluences with the Eden, including at Greystoke, Newton Reigny, Plumpton, Stockdalewath, Sebergham and Denton Holme in Carlisle.

Low lying land and roads will be affected first.

The Agency has urged residents in the at-risk areas to be prepared to protect yourself, family, pets and property.

Sustained overnight rainfall has swollen river levels steadily.

The rain is forecast to continue through Sunday and so levels are likely to continue rising during the day and possibly into Sunday night.

The outlook for Monday is drier.

Environment Agency staff are monitoring the situation and will update this information in due course or if the situation changes.

The advice for those at risk includes:

Prepare a flood kit that includes a torch, batteries, mobile phone, warm clothes, water, food and any prescription medicines you may need;

Avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water;

Farmers should consider moving livestock and equipment away from areas likely to flood;

Keep an eye on local water levels and weather conditions.

For up-to-date information visit the Environment Agency website www.gov.uk/environment-agency for river level and flooding information.

You can also call the Floodline on 0345 988 1188 using quickdial 141015 for up-to-date flooding information.

The Met Office said today that 36mm of rain had fallen in Keswick and Blencathra in the last 48 hours, while as much as four inches fell near the south Cumbria border.

"The rain should start to die away between 3pm and 5pm this afternoon," said forecaster Mark Wilson. "There's been a lot of rain which has fallen on already wet ground."

Geraldine McKay, Carlisle Racecourse’s General Manager, said: “Due to the heavy rain we have experienced over the last 48 hours we have had to take the decision to abandon today’s meeting.

“It is very sad to lose what was going to be a cracking day’s racing but it could simply not go ahead due to the water on the track.”

The next race meeting at Carlisle will be on Wednesday April 5thth – Gates open 12pm, First race 2pm.

If News & Star readers see any flooding on their travels can they please email pictures and any relevant detail to news@cumbrian-newspapers.co.uk

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