Recovery operations are underway to help communities across Cumbria and Lancashire recover from flooding following the severe weather brought by Storm Ciara over the weekend.
Teams from the Environment Agency have been on the ground in affected communities, including Whalley, Ribchester, Blackpool, Croston, Padiham, Appleby, Carlisle, Shap and Grange-over-Sands, since the first bout of heavy and persistent rain over the weekend of 8th February.
Community Information Officers have also visited towns and villages across the region offering information and advice as well as signposting people to help by working with Local Authorities. Across the North West, Environment Agency staff are still protecting properties by making sure rivers are clear from blockages and ensuring assets are ready to operate.
Through a combination of operating defences and assets, the Environment Agency were able to protect more than 7,633 properties and businesses. 43 flood warnings where issued meaning 6,135 properties where warned in advance of Ciara’s arrival. Even with those measures in place, the severe weather caused around 190 properties across Cumbria and Lancashire to be affected by flooding with the Environment Agency still gathering vital post-flood information to determine the total figure.
Matt Crump, Area Duty Manager for Cumbria and Lancashire: “We are proud of the spirit and resilience our communities, partners and staff have shown once again in their response to the intense and rainfall brought on by Storm Ciara.
“Our Field Teams were out in the area well in advance of the Storm clearing tonnes of debris from our rivers and worked 24/7 during the incident to keep communities as protected as possible. Over the weekend, our teams operated 4 flood basins in Lancashire (Croston, Wigan, Catterall and Garstang). Our operations teams also deployed additional pumps in flooded locations such as Appleby. We are continuing to check our defences after the severe weather and are operating them as needed to help keep people and properties safe.
“The focus now is on recovery. The Environment Agency’s flood assets protected thousands of homes and businesses but, sadly, some communities across the North West did suffer from flooding and we need to help them recover as quickly as possible.
“We are doing everything we can to support our communities. Alongside, our partners we are coordinating our field teams out on the ground in affected communities. They have been out around the clock – doing the most we can do to help protect communities from the impacts of flooding.”
With further heavy rain expected to continue into the weekend as a result of Storm Dennis, the Environment Agency is advising communities to remain vigilant and stay safe over the coming days.
People are advised to sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest safety advice, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgencyNW on Twitter for the latest flood updates.