Press release

Environment Agency focus on recovery as more rain forecast over the weekend

Communities are asked to remain vigilant and to check flood warnings as more rain is forecast over the weekend.

This news item is not being updated. Read Winter flooding 2015: community support for current information.

The ground is saturated in many areas, river levels are still high and will respond to further rainfall.

Environment Agency staff are continuing to support communities that have been affected by flooding such as Carlisle, Keswick, Kendal, Cockermouth, Appleby, Glenridding and St. Michaels, and are working with local partners, including the emergency services and local authorities.

The Environment Agency has sent 22 pumps from other parts of the country to Cumbria and Lancashire, and Northumberland Durham and Tees areas as recovery from the exceptional floods gets underway.

As of 12:00, there is 1 severe flood warning for St. Michaels in Lancashire following further heavy rainfall last night, which caused river levels to rise. Teams have worked day and night with partners to repair the flood embankment and we have operated both the Garstang and Catterall flood basins overnight.

Yesterday, a further 50mm of rain fell in 12 hours in Glenridding. High river flows caused gravel deposits to wash into the river which, combined with the heavy rainfall, contributed to the flooding. Teams are working in the area as part of a multi-agency response and continue to support the community today. The Environment Agency has people on the ground giving advice and guidance to families.

Kate Marks, Environment Agency deputy director in Flood and Coastal Risk Management, said: “Following the exceptional rainfall last weekend in the North of England, rivers are high and the ground is saturated, so we ask people to remain vigilant with further rainfall expected.

“Environment Agency staff are out in communities, taking action with the emergency services and local authorities, checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in rivers, monitoring water levels and working with local flood wardens in the areas worst affected. Our thoughts are with those people and families that have been affected and we are there working hard to reduce further impacts as this unsettled weather continues.

“We urge people not drive through flood water: just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car. People should check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates.”‎

Figures from a rain gauge at Honister in the Lake District showed a UK record 341mm of rain had fallen in 24 hours over the weekend. The average rainfall for Cumbria for the month of December is 146.1mm, the Met Office said.