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Storm Desmond hits and our area is flooded again

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Here we go again with flooding in Cumbria, but this time caused by Storm Desmond and this time the flooding is worse because it is more widespread. Click on the side of the pictures on the news item to see other areas in our county and elsewhere just before the worst kept even the reporters away. The town of Keswick is on here, but is completely under water since the pictures on here and the roadbridges into the town have swept away.


The winds were 70-80mph, so I slept downstairs as it sounded too loud and furious upstairs. The sea was flowing over our harbour walls and lightouses below the hill to our house again, but the harbour gates saved our town centre from deep flooding.




Our shop in Cockermouth is on a hill, so we were just above water level, but here is the view down from our shop:



Our house is on a hill, so we were not flooded, but we are stranded like being on an island here as every road out of the area is either flooded or broken up by fast flowing rivers or lakes that had breeched their banks. They flow at a terrific speed so the Police were warning people not to go through them, even if they had an off-road vehicle, it could still sweep them away at just 12" deep.


Quite a few of our brothers and sisters/families in the city of Carlisle have been flooded out despite millions being spent on the city's new flood defences. More are flooded out in the area of the congregation of Appleby and I have yet to hear about our folk in Kendal (3 congregations there). The meeting at Penrith was cancelled as no one could get to the Hall. We are pretty stranded, so can't go anywhere to help them. The army and sea rescue and mountain rescue and Navy helicopters are in many towns rescuing people from their upstairs rooms because their electricity and fresh water supplies/sewerage are off. 


There will be no deliveries to many shops until the roads are clear. Thankfully I have enough in the freezer. We have been asked to keep our phones charged and torches handy in case our electricity goes off. We got to the Kingdom Hall for the meeting, but we were a bit sparse as some were stuck the other side of flooded roads - no one flooded out of their homes in my congregation thankfully.


The community has rallied to offer stranded travellers beds in their homes and beds for those made homeless and their pets. Most towns in the county are having blanket and clothing collection centres set up for those who have lost theirs in the floods.


One lady rang in to the local radio station this morning to say that she had rescued 30 chickens from a field behind her garden as their barn was getting inundated. She couldn't contact the farmer and had 25 chickens running round her kitchen and 5 in her car and they needed to be fed and were getting fractious and pecking each other. A pet rescue centre from another town offered to drive a van to collect them - if they could get to her.

Edited by retroHelen
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I was following the news about this storm the past few days. (I am an incorrigible newshound). It sounds horrid and the pictures I saw showed a phenomenal amount of flooding. I read that the wind was pretty ferocious, too. Thanks for the first-hand report. I was thinking of you friends and am glad, at least, to hear that you are safe. Will include you in my prayers again tonight.

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I saw this on the news here in Perth, Australia.  Wow, what you described is just incredible!  So glad you live on a hill and were spared the worst of the flooding, and hopefully most of the brothers have too.  But it will be a long while before things will get to normal again for you all.  Thinking of you all, especially since we know you are in that predicament, and praying for you all of course.

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Thanks for letting us know about your situation and very glad you and

your family are ok.  :)


I guess I take "hills" for granted. 

I hope your store and home will not be flooded

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, And put within me a new spirit, a steadfast one" (PS 51:10)


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A sister from a congregation in the flooded city of Carlisle has just sent her mother here some phone footage of outside of the Sands Centre (Event and Sports Centre) and it is under  running filthy water from the river and cut off from the rest of the city. We were supposed to be going there for a convention in a few weeks time!


When the roads are repaired and open again we may have to go further south to another venue and join with other circuits. We await instructions.

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post-571-0-23422400-1449501392.jpg Donkey saved from the floods.


17 000 homes flooded has receded to 6,500, but still lots without electricity.


Statistics are that London has on average 26 inches of rain a year, Cumbria and North Lancashire had 14 inches in just one night and it's still going to rain again tonight and another storm coming in on Wednesday, but only 60 mph winds this time.


Looters have been caught in flooded shops in Cockermouth and at homes in Carlisle already!


Thousands of livestock, especially pregnant ewes/sheep have died of hypothermia and drowning and untold numbers of wildlife.


People all over have offered rooms in homes on safer higher ground. Many refuge centres have set up where those made homeless can go. They are also areas that people can deliver clothing and blankets; spare toiletries and mops and buckets. There are many holiday homes and caravans on higher safer ground and there's been an appeal for the owners in other parts of the country who own these to contact the local government departments and volunteer their spare rooms and homes temporarily for those made homeless by all this.


Villages cut off by water are having powerboats sent with doctors and nurses to see elderly are OK and have food and warmth and might need medication. Many of the villages did have historic road bridges to them but these have been swept away. All railways are flooded so no trains in the county for this week while they assess and repair.


English Heritage historical preservers are giving folk instructions to save precious paper things. One idea was that if a special book,important document or album has become sodden. Don't attempt to dry it out yourself as things can stick together and ruin. Put them into a sealed plastic bag and find someone who can keep them in a freezer for you to keep them stabalised until you can get professional advice as to whether you can retrieve them.

Edited by retroHelen
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I will tell the Cumbria site that the picture is misleading as I can't do anything about my post now - shame we can't edit it/delete it for long after it's put on here like other networks let you.


There were some pictures of sheep rescues, but the look on the donkey's face was funny and I doubt the sheep would survive anyway - many were saved last time we had floods, but were pregnant and just aborted and died of hypothermia afterwards anyway.

Edited by retroHelen
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This footage is the aftermath of the floods, when much of the water has subsided! You see on the footage that one of the main roads - A591 - through the Lake District National Park is seriously damaged. The Army is helping clear all the land-slips trees and boulders off the road and then engineers are checking, the best they can, as to how undermined it is. The government is applying for some grant aid for this main route repair - I hope it doesn't hold things up as this is a vital route for millions of visitors every year to many of the famous Lake District towns and villages.


Anyone driving was told not to go through unkown deep running water as they could lose traction off the road surface and be swept away. Even if they knew the water was only inches deep, to go slowly so as not to create waves that would sweep into homes and overwhelm their few feet of sandbags water defences.

Facebook also set up a site for offering donations and organising clean-up/distribution volunteers from all around the country for such as blankets; drinking water; toiletries; sand-bags and so that the material things and volunteers were fairly distributed to the aid centres. Local radio stations are directing all clean-up volunteers and donations to the network sites.


The Army Royal Engineers and their specialist diving teams, along with other structural surveyors have been inspecting all a thousand+ bridges in the County. So far 131, some hundreds of years old and on major routes, have been declared too damaged to be used or completely washed away. This has caused great inconvenience, because though people can wave to one another across a main town bridge, it now takes them, sometimes half a day to do a detour to reach shops, offices, Kingdom Halls on the other side of their town's river.


Now the East of the County is getting snow.


Brothers in various congregations are offering help donations and storage space for the thankfully few who are homeless because of this storm, while their homes will need to have floors, interior wall plaster and electrical wiring replaced - which will take months to redo and dry out.

Edited by retroHelen
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  • 2 weeks later...





The Main road from Keswick To Ambleside passing Derwentwater; Thirlmere and Windermere - the A591 - cannot be repaired as was thought as the whole mountainside beside the road is moving as the rain continues.

Villages beside Ullswater were clearing up after Storm Desmond and are flooding again in Storm Eva. Appleby flood sirens are all going off and the roads there are closing as the town floods again.


Storm Eva is flooding as far down as the County of Lancashire now and my husband's sister's cellars are flooding near Rochdale, Greater Manchester, because the river below the house has burst it's banks. A large sink-hole or pot-hole has opened in the road to the town and that town centre has flooded now.


North Yorkshire areas are flooding. Todmorden; Temple Sowerby and Haworth ( where the famous 19th Century authoresses The Bronte sisters were from who wrote: Wuthering Heights, Jayne Eyre, etc) and the city of York.


We are presently cut off again as all roads out of town are closing as they are impassable. Thankfully, we were able to do some shopping and keep up supplies.


Social networks can be useful at times like these as the Police and Environmental Agency Flood Alert systems are all on there with important information. Flood volunteers are being co-ordinated there, as are people with donations to charities and bedrooms/second properties to spare.


Our next big worry is a severe storm coming at us from the Atlantic sea called a 'weather bomb' coming in with 90 mph winds and possible snow as well as wind for 5 inches!

Edited by retroHelen
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Oh what a soggy mess!  You poor things, stuck there with the authorities obviously helpless in solving this.  From the article above:


"If somebody had said two years ago when we were designing these flood defences that we could get 13 inches of rain in a day, the answer from the engineers would have been 'Why are you making that kind of prediction? We have never seen this before.'"


And in reading the comments from the readers, they really like to blame the govt, Londoners, foreigners, and God of course.  But for you dear sis, and for the others of our brotherhood enduring under such catastrophic weather conditions, you are in my thoughts and prayers. We know Jehovah keeps us going in any sort of situation.

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And in reading the comments from the readers, they really like to blame the govt, Londoners, foreigners, and God of course.

I live in London. Oh you mean London UK not London, Canada, eh :) That would make me a Colonist :eek:


That is what my dad's aunt was called by her mother-in-law in England shortly after WWII. Being a momma's boy it ended the marriage.

My great aunt was born in England and had an h'accent until she died in her 80's

Edited by pnutts

Consciousness, that annoying time between naps! :sleeping:

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Really sorry to hear this Helen, glad you have supplies in. What a miserable time for you all.

I saw this on Twitter today, the left hand side is a medieval map showing natural flood drains, and the picture on right shows the flooded areas today. Mismanagement by man caused so many problems. My town is built on reclaimed marsh land, and many areas had problems with subsidence, and they still want to put more houses on flood plains :upset::depressed:


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We met a family from Carlisle at our Sunday Meeting who came down from Carlisle to stay with relatives in my town. They were one of 9 families in the congregation who have been flooded out and are in rented accommodation. It's been twice in 5 years for them now. There was only one Bible Study in Appleby congregation flooded out. I have not heard from the south of our county as we are pretty cut-off from them. 


Kevin's sister in Rochdale had water coming into her home, but it went down into her cellar - which she doesn't use, so it never came up into the main house. So she has spent today with her daughter bailing the cellar out.


This is footage taken by someone's cellphone of our local Wasdale Mountain Rescue Service who went  to Yorkshire to rescue people in the floods there.They are taking some time because the water's current is very strong against their little boats and there's lots of dangerous big stuff flowing in the water liable to hit and capsize them or the vehicle! The gentleman they rescued went straight to hospital for treatment for hypothermia.



The inset piece of footage shows a 200 year old large Hotel in Yorkshire that has collapsed into the river and the river is flowing through the ruins of it now.It cannot be saved as the walls you see on here are all that are left - no floors or roof behind that scene!


The Government has cut back so drastically on our Police and Fire Service, so it has been a good thing that our air ambulance service, and Lifeboat/Sea rescue Service (RNLI) and Mountain Rescue Services have been able to fill in with their volunteers - Mind you they are funded by charity, and their money will be running out now!


The Navy is still patrolling Cockermouth and Keswick; The Army is around the rest of the Lake District and the RAF (airforce)  is rescuing people and patrolling around Yorkshire. Various arrests have happened with nasty people/gangs trying to get into people's abandoned flooded homes.


I will hear from brothers in Lancashire and Yorkshire soon when families with relatives there get back to us soon. 


We have to go to work tomorrow to Lancashire, hope we get there and back before Storm Frank, and it's 90 mph winds with rain, hits us!

Edited by retroHelen
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Storm Frank is over and I don't know how brothers and sisters fared in Lancashire or Yorkshire. My husband's sister in Lancashire reported that her cellars flooded, but the water abated before it reached her lounge and kitchen areas.


This week our congregation sent a team of volunteers to Carlisle to help the 9 families there deal with their ruined homes. 3 of the families had suffered the same fate in the 2009 floods there. One family were and elderly couple, so they were prioritised as they were in a bungalow, so lost most of their possessions because they could not get anything out of the way and upstairs when the floods suddenly burst in on them and they had to be rescued.


Our team was split between more experienced teams already there that the congregation had organised. The local brothers and sisters had dealt with the previous flood episode, so knew what to do and in which order to do it.


They emptied the homes of all the sodden furniture that could not be recovered. All the carpets; carpet underlay or wood/vinyl flooring. All the floorboards. All the wall-plaster chipped or scraped off up to flood level. 

Then everywhere was spray disinfected. Then industrial dryers. Then new floorboards or concrete floor and concrete on the walls. This flooding may happen again in Carlisle, so there was little point putting new carpets down or plaster back on the walls. Then the wiring and plumbing was checked/repaired.


Each home had work started on it at 8.30 am and by 2 pm it was nearly finished, apart from the driers or de-humidifiers - Drying out can take weeks or months depending on the damage and replacing kitchen cupboards/appliances that will happen when the walls have dried out enough.


It was a great Witness to other gangs of workmen at other houses. Some foremen came to watch and told their workers to copy the methodical orderly approach of our brothers and sisters. Others were amazed that our brothers and sisters were not charging the occupants for all their work. The Workmen were doing the same for other houses for thousands of pounds. Many of the householders in these areas were unable to get House insurance after the last floods, so our brothers' families were especially blessed for having such voluntary help. 


Donations from other congregations are arriving for them as well. Financial donations as well as replacements of tinned food; clothing; cleaning equipment; furniture, etc. Some brothers in Carlisle own properties as holiday lets or rental apartments, so could offer temporary accommodation for the homeless families while their homes get repaired.


The government has set up websites where everyone who was a victim can apply for some money towards the cost of the repairs and the cost of heating and drying their homes. There is also a Community Flood charity that will help towards the cost of replacing appliances and basic living needs. 


There have been problems with people who have had to abandon their homes for months getting their utility/satellite TV/Broadband/phone contracts altered and their mail re-directed. Some companies refused to cancel their contracts even though the householders cannot use their services, so a government department is looking into this.


Most main roads between towns are open now, but some towns still have bridges destroyed, so many residents are cut off from shops and offices and Doctors and hospitals unless they take very long detours, this includes some brothers and sisters having far longer journeys to their Kingdom Halls.The railway is still closed as there was much flooding and landslips on the railway lines and damage that needs urgent repairs.


Here on this news report for Huddersfield, Yorkshire it shows Witnesses helping along with the Dewsbury Muslim Community to get the Kingdom Hall and it's outside area cleared after the floods!


Edited by retroHelen
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