Categories: Headlines

Historic Pooley Bridge collapses

Pooley Bridge (photo Mat Hardcastle)


Following on from a Strategic Command Group meeting at Police Headquarters we can issue an update regarding the adverse weather and flooding situation across Cumbria.

Cumbria Police, Military, Fire Service, Ambulance Service and other agencies are continuing to treat Carlisle as a priority location in the county to warn and inform people of the situation regarding the flooded areas.

Properties remain under water within Carlisle especially in the East of the town, which has been significantly affected. A limited supply of Sandbags are available from the corner of Lismore Street and Aglionby Street, Carlisle for people to collect. Predictions from the Environment Agency show that Denton Holme may not flood, however we are urging residents to keep up to date with flood warnings on the Environment Agency website.

A priority for all agencies continues to be protecting the two sub stations in Carlisle. Over four thousand properties are still without electricity and all areas in Carlisle are at significant risk of losing power, therefore we continue to advise people to keep mobile phones, tablets etc charged up.

The following reception centres have been opened in Carlisle, for those who have not self-evacuated to family or friends:

Richard Rose Morton
Greystone Community Centre (full capacity at present)
Austin Friars School (No power at the minute, however generator is on route)
Yewdale Community Centre
Currock Community Centre
Sea Cadet, Nicholson Street

The bridge on Warwick Road remains under water in Carlisle, and the road remains closed. Our advice is to not walk or drive across any bridges that are under water as they may be unsafe and could pose a danger to life. When the water subsides the bridges will be checked by highway engineers and declared safe before they can be used.

Although water is subsiding in some areas of the county we continue to urge the public not to go near any flood water as it is fast moving and extremely dangerous.

We want to remind the public that Cumbria Police resources are under strain and prioritising people with medical emergency for evacuation first.  Our advice is to take yourself and all valuables upstairs and keep safe.

Pooley Bridge


There are concerns around the integrity of Appleby bridge in the sands area which could be affected by structural damage. Our advice is to not cross the bridge until advised.

We can now confirm the bridge at Pooley Bridge has now collapsed. We urge people to avoid the area.

Pooley Bridge

Feedback from other areas across the county is that flood levels have peaked and are now slowly starting to subside.

Planned power outages scheduled for Carlisle due to severe flooding (15:00 update)

Electricity North West plans to commence planned power outages in Carlisle at around 4pm today to prevent 60,000 customers from losing power at once.

In order to make best use of those assets not impacted by the flooding and to protect customers, the company region’s network operator is removing supplies to 5,000 customers at a time for up to three hours.

Partner agencies have been pumping water from the area all day and will continue throughout the evening.

55,000 customers are still without power in Lancaster after flood defences that were upgraded in 2010 to withstand a ‘1-in-100-years’ flood were breached just before 23:00 last night (Saturday).

Electricity North West Systems Manager, Chris Fox, said: “It is essential that we remove power to customers for a short period of time to prevent 60,000 customers being without power for a long period.

“We tried everything we could to protect Carlisle but unfortunately this is an unprecedented flooding event.

“We are working with the fire service, police and council to prioritise our resources to the most vulnerable. This is an incredibly challenging time for many people and I can assure them that we are working around the clock with the emergency services to coordinate the best response we can.”

If you see power lines down please stay away and report it to Electricity North West immediately on 0800 195 4141.

Vulnerable customers, including some older or disabled people, or those with a medical dependency on electricity, can also sign up to the Priority Services Register by visiting www.enwl.co.uk/priority or contacting Electricity North West on 0800 195 4141.

To report a power cut please call 0800 195 4141 or follow @ElectricityNW or visit www.electricitynorthwest.co.uk. To get the latest flood advice and information in your area please visit the Environment Agency.

Dr Craig Melrose, Interim Medical Director for NHS England, North (Cumbria and North East) said: “I would like to start by saying thank you on behalf of the NHS to our staff, members of the public for their support. This has been a difficult 24 hours. We have been putting in place our emergency plans and will continue to need your support.  We will be issuing updates through the local media and social media.

At the moment our hospital sites Royal Lancaster Infirmary in Lancaster, Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, West Cumberland and Cumberland Infirmary have been most seriously affected..

Royal Lancaster Infirmary.  Access to the site from surrounding villages and towns is restricted resulting in difficulties for staff to attend. Military and mountain rescue colleagues have been helping staff travel.  Power lost to 50,000 properties in Lancaster, including the hospital. Hospital is running on reserve generators, expecting this to be the case for several days. Reviewing which elements of our site will be without power and planning which patients need to be contacted for cancelling appointments.  Mobile phone coverage for most networks has been lost in the Lancaster area since Saturday 5th.

Westmorland General Hospital.  Severe flooding in South Cumbria resulting in staff unable to access the site easily.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has declared an internal major incident at this stage. Due to substation being down in Carlisle, the Cumberland Infirmary is running on a backup generator. All patients are being kept safe and cared for. The Trust has had a fantastic response from staff and many doctors, nurses and non-clinical staff have offered their assistance today if they can reach our hospitals safely. Our A&E departments are very busy at both hospitals so we would ask for people to please ensure you only call 999 or attend one of our A&E departments if it is an emergency.

Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust are reporting no significant issues and are in contact with their patients.

Cumbria Health On Call. We have been over whelmed by support from local GP’s and nurses answering our call for help.  We would like to ask members of the public to be considerate to ensure the service is available for patients who are seriously ill.

North West Ambulance Service. A&E departments and ambulances in these areas are very busy at present so we would ask the public to only attend A&E or call 999 if they need emergency care.  We are working hard to care for and respond to patients who really need us so would ask for the public’s help in ensuring help is available for those who need it most.We have asked staff who are due to come into work to not take any risks with their own safety and to get in touch if they can’t make it in.  If someone is able to do an extra shift to provide support, please get in touch first.

We would like to ask members of the public to support your local hospitals and not to cal 999 or attempt to travel to a hospital unless absolutely necessary, this will help ease pressure in local Accident and Emergency departments and allow staff to attend to those who are seriously ill.

Please consider using other options for advice and treatment such as NHS Choices, calling NHS 111 or your local out of hours provider. Before venturing out please ensure you have checked the current situation in your area via the police or using your local radio or tv station.

If you were planning to visit a friend or relative at one of our hospital sites [please check the current situation in your area before travelling.


UHMBT – Switchboards are under pressure and difficult to get through.  Asking the public to check on line and social media also for updates.  Switchboard: 01539 732288. Facebook: www.facebook.com/UHMBT

Twitter: www.twitter.com/UHMBT North Cumbria Hospital contact details are  Cumberland Infirmary – 01228 52344 or West Cumberland Hospital – 01946 693181 or please check our social media for updates