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4 January 2008

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Flood risk

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Cumbria floods

The Cumbria floods on 7, 8 and 9 January 2005 affected more than 3,000 properties.  2 years have now passed and the majority of people have now returned to their homes, flood defence works have been carried out and two major new flood defence schemes are underway in  Carlisle. 

On Saturday 8 January, heavy rain fell in 36 hours over Cumbria. The rain affected many of Cumbria's biggest towns including Keswick, Cockermouth, Appleby, Eamont Bridge, the Eden Valley, Kendal and Penrith, but the worst of the weather was experienced in Carlisle, where two severe flood warnings were issued. These were for the Carlisle and Denton Holme areas of the city and the Rivers Eden, Petteril and Caldew.

The sheer volume of rain in such a short space of time caused flood defences to overtop and  1,700 properties in Carlisle were flooded. Flood warnings were sent out to those who were signed up to the flood warning service.

In Carlisle, a flood defence scheme to improve the standard of protection was already in the planning stages. Following further studies and consultation with the public, the River Eden and Petteril Flood Alleviation Scheme has been approved and construction work began in May 2006 and is due to be complete by 2008.

Work will begin on the Caldew and City Centre Flood Alleviation Scheme in 2008 and complete a year ahead of schedule in 2010.

Following the flooding, some resilience works to reduce the risk of flooding in the Warwick Road area were completed. Some resilience measures are planned for the River Caldew later this year.

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Author: Michelle Cowley | enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk