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Copeland Council is working with Police, the Environment Agency, Cumbria County Council, Fire & Rescue Service and the Primary Care Trust to support communities affected by flooding caused by very intense rainfall overnight in West Cumbria.
Around 50 properties from Church View and Orgill estate, Egremont were affected by flooding overnight and 14 properties were evacuated. The council opened a reception centre at Egremont Market Hall and is still providing advice, support and refreshments for residents who are unable to return to their properties. Police assisted in helping the local community deal with the flash flooding to homes, providing reassurance and frequent visits to vulnerable people.
Councillor Elaine Woodburn Copeland Council leader, said: “It has been very traumatic for the residents affected by the flooding. We have been working with the emergency services and others to provide support and comfort. We have representatives here from local housing associations so that they could discuss their accommodation needs along with other sources of information and advice.”
“As very little rain is expected over the next 24 hours, continued flooding is unlikely. However, we have a substantial recovery job to do. We are still delivering sandbags to residents in some parts of the borough and keeping people safe is always our number one priority.“
Environment Agency officers are assessing affected areas to identify the precise causes of flooding and working with Copeland Borough Council in support to see if any work is required to maintain levels of flood protection.
The Fire Service has two appliances pumping water away from Railway Terrace in Seascale where properties have been flooded. Flooding has also been reported in Gosforth, St Bees, Ravenglass, Moresby, Waberthwaite, Calder Bridge and Whitehaven.
The bridge over Black Beck at Beckermet (picture courtesy of Cumbria Police) was due to be inspected at around 2pm, after inspection was not possible this morning due to high water levels. Highways officers will assess damage and the road bridge will be closed until further notice.
Elsewhere in the county, emergency services dealt with a two carriage passenger train which had struck a landslide near to Nethertown, south of Caulderton in West Cumbria, at 6:45 am this morning (30 August 2012). The train remained upright and there were no injuries to any passengers or staff. All of the passengers are being transported to Sellafield.
A landslide is believed to have been the cause but there will be an investigation by Rail Accident Investigation Branch.
Egremont and the Calder Valley were the worst affected parts of West Cumbria with 15mm of rain recorded in just 15 minutes at Calder Hall, with a total of 52mm of rain recorded between 10pm and 4am this morning (30 August 2012).
Flooding overnight was a mixture of flash flooding - where intense rainfall rushed down waterways such as Skirting Beck in the Egremont area and Black Beck in the Beckermet area - and surface water flooding, where the intense bursts of rain were unable to drain away from roads and residential areas quickly.
The rainfall overnight highlights how important it is to be aware of flood risk and to develop a plan of what you will do if your home of business is affected by flooding. The intensity of the rainfall also highlights how quickly flooding can occur, meaning flood warnings can not always be delivered in time. For advice and guidance on developing a flood plan visit the Environment Agency website on www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188.