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Environment Agency was prepared for Storm Callum – were you?

Rickerby Park, Carlisle (Kieron Peacock)

Environment Agency operations and maintenance teams in Cumbria and Lancashire were out and about across the counties last week and this weekend in preparation for Storm Callum.

With heavy and prolonged rain predicted over last weekend, accompanied by strong winds, this brought an increased risk of river and surface water flooding in north-west England.

Environment Agency teams were out on the ground and ready to respond. Thanks to our work, some of the incidents averted included:

  • 105 properties in Ulverston, Cumbria, avoided flooding due to a £9.5m Environment Agency flood alleviation scheme on Dragley Beck completed summer 2018. A flood warning was issued, but no flooding was reported.
  • 189 properties in Carlisle avoided flooding due to an Environment Agency flood alleviation scheme at Little Caldew Pumping station operating on the River Caldew. The scheme was completed in 2012 and recovery works were carried out following Storm Desmond in 2016. A flood warning was issued, but no flooding was reported.
  • 375 properties in Carlisle avoided flooding due to an Environment Agency flood alleviation scheme at Durranhill pumping station on the River Eden. The scheme was completed in 2006 and recovery works carried out following Storm Desmond recovery works in 2016. A flood warning was issued, but no flooding was reported.
  • Tidal gates operated in Cumbria at Arnside (13), Maryport (3), Skinburness (85), Ravenglass (15), avoiding flooding to a total of 116 properties.
  • At Crossens Pumping Station, Lancashire, 660 properties were protected.

Over the weekend in Cumbria and Lancashire there were nine reports of flooded properties from surface water – and the risk of flooding can never be completely removed, but steps can be taken to prepare for flooding and reduce its impact on your life, home or business. You can do this by signing up to our free 24 hour flood warning service online or by calling 0345 988 1188.

Cumbria and Lancashire Flood Risk Manager, Stewart Mounsey, said: “It’s great that our teams stepped up to make sure we were prepared for Storm Callum. It turned out not to be as bad as expected – but we were ready in any case.

“We understand how distressing it can be when people are flooded. That’s why it’s vital that residents check if they are in a flood risk area and sign up to flood alerts.

“Once you have established that, you can follow our steps to Prepare / Act / Survive:

  • Have a list of contacts ready.
  • Think about what you can move to a safe place.
  • Make sure you know how to turn off your gas, electric and water supply.
  • Have your insurance documents handy.
  • Prepare a flood kit of essential items and keep it handy.”

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