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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Families flee flooded Ulverston homes

FAMILIES were forced to flee their homes as flash floods caused havoc across South Cumbria.

Homes in Steel Street and North Lonsdale Road in Ulverston were evacuated late last night as drainage sewers became flooded due to heavy rainfall and water began entering properties.

South Lakeland District Councillor, Mark Wilson, commandeered the community minibus alongside deputy mayor of Ulverston Phil Lister in a bid to rescue families struggling to leave their homes.

Last night, Cllr Wilson said: “We have been out and about all night in a bus trying to take people to safety. We’ve helped one family and we are looking to help more who need to evacuate their homes.

“Someone told me that the water was coming into their home through a concrete floor, this is the scenario we warned of. We are planning on being available all night as we fear the worst is yet to come.”

Town councillor Phil Lister said residents had been worried about how the sewerage system would cope if Ulverston suffered heavy rainfall.

Cllr Lister said: “We told everyone, the county council, United Utilities and the Environment Agency time and time again that this is what would happen if nothing was done.

“They have spent money in Kendal and Carlisle but they could never be bothered with South Ulverston. We have had to take children out of their homes tonight because the sewerage system simply cannot cope. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

“Every single one of those agencies should hang their heads in shame.”

Ulverston Victoria High School was set up as an evacuation centre at around 8pm last night as a shelter for people unable to return to or remain in their homes. Cllr Wilson said that three or four families had turned up at the centre when he left at 10pm.

Cllr Lister said: “The fire engines are currently trying to pump out the houses which have been worst affected. In some places in Steel Street the water is rising to up to three feet, inside and outside the properties.”

Cllr Wilson added that he had also visited a number of elderly residents who were concerned the water would reach their homes.

He said: “We’re particularly worried about what will happen at 1am with the high tide. Something could have been done to prevent this. These residents have been saying for a long time that they are fearful of what may happen.

“The Environment Agency has been told time and time again what those fears are and each time they have done nothing.”

Keswick and Cockermouth had experienced some of the worst flooding. Up to 200 people were being evacuated from their homes in the Main Street and The Square areas of Cockermouth, which had been cut off by floodwater. Around 1,500 homes were without electricity.

A fire engine and pump from Barrow fire station was sent to assist with the rescue mission in Cockermouth and fire crews were also being called out to the Broughton and Egremont areas.

The rescue was supported by three RAF helicopters and two RAF mountain rescue teams.

Prayers were said last night for the victims of flooding across Cumbria.

At a service in Grange, attended by the Bishop of Carlisle the Right Revd James Newcome, the congregation was asked to think of those suffering across Cumbria tonight and those who feared what tomorrow (Friday) might bring.

The service, held at St Paul's church was to mark the institution of the Revd Canon Nicholas Ash as team rector of the Cartmel Peninsula Team Ministry.

The church was packed with members of the ministry, and representatives from the local community, including councillors and headteachers and pupils from local schools including Grange CE Primary and Cartmel Priory secondary school.

But some due to attend from the Windermere and Ambleside area were unable to travel to the service due to the flooding.

Leading the congregation in prayer in his first duty after his induction the Revd Canon Ash said: “We pray tonight for the people affected by the floods in this county.”

There was special mention of those who were suffering and who feared a further deterioration of conditions overnight in the Lakes, including areas already badly hit on Thursday such as Cockermouth and Keswick.

Revd Canon Ash had previously served at Portsmouth Cathedral. Representatives from Portsmouth were also at the service.

Have your say

It is almost 4 weeks since we were flooded and have yet to date received very little help down here in Ulverston. What do we have to do to get some help?? Please help us out???

Posted by sharon phillipson-Reed on 14 December 2009 at 21:22

I agree with the comments of William Wood, I am also disgusted by the poor publicity for the appeal, which has been very localized. If it had happened "down south", you can bet your life it would have been plastered all over the national press.

Posted by Brian Burns on 27 November 2009 at 10:59

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