Storm Desmond: Homes flooded and travel disrupted as river levels peak
- 18 minutes ago
- From the section UK
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Army has been called in to help the emergency services deal with the situation Flood waters have reached their peak as Storm Desmond continues to cause severe disruption across northern England and parts of Scotland.
Hundreds of homes have been flooded and more than 1,000 people evacuated in Cumbria and the Scottish Borders.
Carlisle is among the worst-hit areas and more than 50 severe flood warnings remain in place, mostly in Cumbria.
There are no trains running between England and Scotland via Preston, and many roads are also closed.
A major incident has been declared in Carlisle, where emergency crews are using boats to carry people to safety.
The Environment Agency says at least 200 properties have been flooded in the North West.
David Cameron said the Army had been mobilised to help those affected, and a meeting of the government's civil emergency committee, Cobra, was being held to discuss the situation.
Follow live updates for Storm Desmond
Provisional figures suggest 352mm of rain fell in 24 hours in the Lake District - which would be a new British record if verified, the Environment Agency said.
BBC Weather's John Hammond, who is in Keswick, Cumbria, said: "In terms of rainfall, it's totally dry here now and will generally remain so for the rest of the day, but we are concerned about further rainfall through this week.
"There is more heavy rain in the forecast for flood-affected areas in the next few days and river levels downstream could be adversely affected. We'll particularly be watching the Rivers Ouse and Severn closely."
In other developments:
- More than 50 severe flood warnings - indicating risk to life - remain in place in northern England, as well as more than 60 flood warnings and more than 60 flood alerts
- In Scotland more than 90 flood warnings and alerts are in place, and some main roads are closed due to landslides and flooding
- Train companies are seeing "major disruption", while road restrictions are in place on the A66 and other routes between Cumbria and the north-east of England
- Police in Cumbria say there is a "major risk" that two electricity substations could flood in Carlisle
- In Northern Ireland, fire and rescue service have helped several people from their homes and cars due to flooding in the western Counties of Tyrone, Fermanagh and Londonderry
- Passengers on the cross-Tyne ferry had to be rescued on Saturday night after it was carried off in high winds with engine failure
- In London, a 90-year-old man died on Saturday after it was believed he was blown into the path of a bus near Finchley Central station
Across Lancashire and large parts of Cumbria, more than 60,000 residents are without power, while eight rescue centres have been opened in Cumbria for those forced to leave their homes.
Adrian Holme, from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said flooding was "unprecedented" as the River Eden burst its banks in Appleby and water levels came close to the top of flood defence barriers in Carlisle and Keswick.
At the scene
Image copyright PA Image caption Emergency workers walk through floodwater in Warwick Road, Carlisle BBC north of England correspondent Danny Savage
Coastguards and lifeboats in the centre of Carlisle. This city has seen it all before but it doesn't make it any easier.
I left Warwick Road about 01:00 GMT this morning with water rising rapidly. By 09:00 it had spread much further towards the city - this appears to be worse than 2005.
The Army is here to help after the police went wading door to door in the early hours making sure residents were at least safe. Later, rescue teams with boats arrived to move those people who did want to leave.
They had watched the modern flood defences anxiously for hours. At 22:00 last night they were telling us the water was up to the top of the flood barriers and at about midnight it came spilling over.
Thousands of properties are without electricity - a hospital in Lancaster is running on generator power and there are worries about a substation in Carlisle. Residents are being told to keep phones fully charged now - if that substation goes, sixty thousand properties could be left without power.
Sophie Thornton, whose home is flooded in Carlisle, said: "It's absolutely horrible watching the inevitable happen.
"There was nothing we could do. We're now looking at a street which is waist height in water. It's just absolutely horrendous."
In 2010, a £38m flood defence scheme for Carlisle was completed, intended to protect about 3,000 homes and businesses around the city.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Across Lancashire and large parts of Cumbria more than 60,000 residents were left without power
Image copyright Cheryl Corson Image caption The scene at Kingfisher Park off Warwick Road in Carlisle last night Around 150 people were rescued overnight by the coastguard after a static residential caravan park was heavily flooded at Eamont Bridge near Penrith.
In Scotland, 600 people were evacuated from their homes in the borders town of Hawick and a train headed for Glasgow was left stranded at Carlisle station with passengers having to sleep on board overnight.
Storm Desmond is the fourth storm to be given a name by the public in a project by the Met Office and Met Eireann in Ireland to help raise awareness of severe weather.