South Cumbria homes flooded, roads shut after storms
Last updated at 14:22, Friday, 29 June 2012
FLASH floods caused chaos in South Cumbria after a rainstorm of “biblical proportions” struck the area.
Houses were flooded and roads closed after several inches of rain fell early yesterday afternoon. The South Lakes, Furness and South Copeland were all affected.
Flood warnings were issued by the Environment Agency for the River Duddon, the Crake and Mill Beck.
The torrential rain placed the hay crop of a businessman in jeopardy – and he faces a hefty bill come winter if the weather does not improve.
Steve Graham runs Orchard Donkeys and uses six acres of land off the Rope Walk in Ulverston to grow hay to feed the animals in the winter months.
But yesterday’s heavy storm means it will be at least six weeks before the land is dry enough to farm – and that could be longer if the poor weather continues.
If the hay is not harvested by August it will be lost, and that would mean buying food in for his herd.
Mr Graham, of Sand Hall, Ulverston, said: “It would be a very expensive. Hay would be at a premium because everybody would be in the same situation.
“We normally bring them down to the field here in summer from Pennington, but we haven’t had a chance to do that.
“The last time we were flooded like this was last September and before that it was when Steel Street flooded.
“They were meant to be doing something about the beck. They cleared it out last time and spent six weeks working on our fields. But it hasn’t worked.
“We have already missed out on five events this year because of the weather.”
Former Ulverston resident, Anna Wilson, 21, was visiting her parents, Sue and Warren Sill, who still live in the town.
She was surveying the rapid currents of Dragley Beck near to the Rope Walk. She said: “It looks very powerful. Something terrible could happen if a child fell in or if a dog were to get in there.”
At one point yesterday afternoon, the coast road was under several inches of water near the Manjushri Kadampa Buddhist Temple in Ulverston.
Elsewhere in the district a number of roadside drains were flooded, creating
hazardous driving conditions.
In Grange, Windermere Road was closed due to heavy flooding.
On Windermere, the flooded jetties caused major problems for Windermere Lakes Cruises.
Spokeswoman Sandra Tonge said: “It was a bit of a nightmare really. The smaller jetties were flooded in the last couple of days and they had just drained when the rain started again.”
Staff at the Whitewater Hotel in Backbarrow feared a repeat of the flooding in November 2009 that forced them to evacuate.
Colin Riddell, food and beverage manager at the hotel, said: “We have been keeping an eye on the situation because we were flooded a couple of years ago. But we have had nothing too drastic so far.”
The hotel was forced to close following the flooding in 2009 and reopened in 2010 after a multi-million pound refurbishment.
In Barrow, Roose Road and Salthouse Road were particular flashpoints for flooding, with residents given sandbags after a problem occurred at United Utilities’ Frederick Street pumping station.
Frank Christian, of Salthouse Road, said he was unhappy that a pumping station in Roose Road run by United Utilities had failed to prevent the flooding.
He said: “We are really angry about it. The last two times we’ve been flooded we have had to put our daughter into care. She doesn’t understand what is happening.”
Mike Miles, also of Salthouse Road said: “We have moved our cars, there’s sewage in the back streets.
“Apparently this is just the calm before the storm. We understand that you can’t stop the weather but it’s not the first time that it’s happened.”
Mr Miles said residents had been offered sandbags yesterday afternoon but said they were scared they would suffer more problems overnight if the rain returned.
Stuart Bell, north area wastewater network manager for United Utilities, said problems had been experienced throughout the town.
He said: “The rain we’ve had in Barrow was of biblical proportions and it has caused some serious flooding problems.
“We have drafted in extra engineers from outside the area to help the local team.
“Engineers were called to Frederick Street in Barrow at about 1.30pm when a problem occurred at the wastewater pumping station.
“Although the situation was rectified by 3pm and the pumping station is now working at full capacity, the incident happened during a very heavy downpour and parts of Frederick Street, Salthouse Road and Roose Road were flooded.
“We are still investigating what caused the problem but our priority is to help householders who have been affected.”
Matt Johnson, owner of Knightsbridge Motors in Roose Road, said cars at the garage had to be moved after water started seeping into the showroom.
He said yesterday afternoon: “The cars are safe at this point but if it floods overnight then we are in for some trouble.
“It has already come through the workshop and into the showroom. We have had to move a few cars to make sure they are kept out of harm’s way.”
Water damage in Abbey Road caused the road to be closed at the Cheltenham Street junction through to Jesmond Avenue near to KwikFit.
Oxford Street and Ainslie Street were also shut.
United Utilities said engineers were working with Cumbria County Council to ensure the section of Abbey Road would be resurfaced as soon as possible.
Onchan View in Walney was flooded for around two hours. The water was knee-deep where the cul-de-sac meets Black Butts Lane and came within two metres of the pavement outside the home of Tony Richardson.
He said: “You always panic. You never know when it’s going to stop. Touch wood, it’s never got any further than two/three feet up my drive, but there could be a day when it does happen.”
Askam was another area hit particularly badly, with Duddon Inshore Rescue team called to Dale Street and business owners in Duke Street working together to protect their premises.
Dale Street residents placed sandbags on the A595 to try and prevent the water rushing off the main road and flooding into their homes.
The water was only inches from their doors, so residents lifted a manhole cover in Dale Street to allow the water to drain away.
Grace Hughes, who has lived in the street for more than 50 years, said: “It hasn’t flooded for a long, long time.
“Today it was like the olden days. We’ve been out all day trying to keep it down, I was lucky it didn’t come into my house.”
In Millom, Knott End was flooded and standing water affected driving conditions on the A5093 in Kirksanton and Wayne Gate Bridge, in Haverigg.
Councillor Reg Heathcote was on his way back to Millom, travelling on the A595 from Whitehaven, when the downpour began.
He said: “That was the worst flooding I’ve experienced for a long time. Usually you get a couple of areas that flood but you were in and out of it all the time.”
Cumbria police warned motorists to take extra care on the roads, and trains on the west coast mainline were cancelled between Lancaster and Carlisle following a landslide.
First published at 14:14, Friday, 29 June 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
I totally agree with Paul Ts comments on South Lakes Search & Rescue, where were they? and for the other person PS, who posted that it needs to be put "into perspective" when your house is flooded, wether it be 2 inches or 6inches of water it matters, or do SLSAR think theyre TOO important to come out to just 6 inches of floodwater .
A Dalton Resident wrote; "Why haven't they council emptied the drains, this rain has been forecast for days. Bloked drains cause floods."
If this is so I wonder if there isn't a case for criminal negligence against the council. After all some part of council taxes goes towards maintaining utilities.
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