Tuesday, December 08, 2015

After Storm Desmond

Three days on and Cumbria is counting the devastating cost of Storm Desmond.

It is estimated that up to 6245 homes and businesses may have been flooded, 2685 more left without power, and 44 schools closed, although some of them will be open again tomorrow.

The clean-up will take months and cost millions, and many local businesses will have taken a bad hit at precisely what should have been their most profitable time of the year. Insurance company NFU Mutual says it believes claims from Cumbria for flood damage may exceed £20m.

Several bridges, including the iconic bridge after which "Pooley Bridge" is named, have been wrecked or rendered unsafe by the floods and many of the roads have been seriously damaged.

An example both of the problems which has been faced and how many people are working to deal with them is that Keswick’s water treatment works was submerged by flood water on Saturday. Although tankers were used to pump drinking water directly into the pipe network but the water supply in parts of the town was variable due to poor pressure. This resulted in a loss of supply for short periods of time. United Utilities worked hard to restore the water treatment works and I understand service is largely back to normal.

Balancing the horrific damage caused by the storm are all the heart-warming stories of people going the extra mile to help their communities or neighbours. The emergency services have all been fantastic and community organisations have done a tremendous amount, as have all the local councils.

Cumbria will get through this, and all our communities will again soon be open for business, if they are not already.

No comments: