LESSONS have been learned from the Carlisle floods, that is the view of the local flood group.

On Sunday residents on Warwick Road anxiously watched on as the River Petteril continued to fill and water poured onto the road from Melbourne Park.

The water came within metres of entering properties on the road, with the Environment Agency since saying the city’s flood defences did their job.

“I think he is right as far as Carlisle is concerned,” said John Kelsall from Carlisle Flood Action Group.

“The main concern are the areas that are below the flood plain.

“The levels for an event like that [Ciara] proved to be protected; it wasn’t far short of Storm Desmond.”

Sunday’s flooding also dispels a previous belief of the Environment Agency - says the group - that Botcherby Bridge is benign in a serious flood event.

“For the Petteril and the Caldew to work successfully, the water needs to move through the city quickly. Their peak arrives much earlier in the system than the Eden peak.

“If there are any restrictions to the flow at the bottom end of the Caldew, such as there are bridges that are too small or there are pebbles blocking the flow, the peaks of the two small rivers become closer to the peak of the Eden, which can have massive effects on the city.”

Mr Kelsall says if the water can’t run quickly enough through Botcherby Bridge, it then becomes backed up in the area of Melbourne Park, which is what happened on Sunday.

Carlisle Flood Action Group has long called for an increased focus on Botcherby Bridge, which it says needs to be upgraded to improve the water flow. Mr Kelsall said the Environment Agency’s own river reports are useful but is calling for the empirical evidence of local people to be used.