Sunday, December 06, 2015

Storm Desmond brings devastation to Cumbria

Our thoughts this morning are with the hundreds of people evacuated from their homes, including some of my children's school friends, and 55,000 people without power, throughout the North West of England and in parts of Scotland as a result of Storm Desmond.

Keswick, Kendal, Appleby Cockermouth and Carlisle appear to have been particularly badly hit, with the water reaching a point 40 centimetres (a foot and four inches in old money) above the previous record levels.

The Keswick Christmas Fayre at which my son was due to play the trombone with his school's Jazz orchestra this morning has been cancelled and it looks like the clean-up will take a while: although it has stopped raining there may still be a lot of water to come down from the hills so the situation is far from over.

It is already clear that all the emergency services including the police, fire, ambulance and also the mountain rescue guys have done and continue to do a fantastic job and that the communities affected are rallying round magnificently.

When the waters have receded and our devastated towns and villages have been cleaned up we will have to have another look at our county's flood defences, but for now we just need to help people through this and pay tribute to the magnificent effort that the emergency services and local community volunteers have put in. Thanks to all of them.

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