VIDEOS: Flood defences put into use as heavy rain hits Cockermouth
Floodgates were scrambled in Cockermouth yesterday afternoon as heavy rain filled the Rivers Derwent and Cocker.
Environment Agency staff were sent to close all the floodgates along both rivers, which were flowing fast and carrying tree trunks and debris.
Friends rallied round to support restaurant owner George Cherian as water levels rose rapidly. It came as high as The Honest Lawyer's balcony. Flood gates were put on all the windows overlooking the river, next to Cocker Bridge.
The water did not get into the restaurant but George cancelled a theme night which had been scheduled for last night.
"We were going to have a full house but I decided to cancel as I felt the customers would not feel safe with the river roaring like it was. We shall be running it next Wednesday," said George.
Mark Hastings lives by Jennings Bridge, right next to the river, and spent the afternoon putting up floodgates on his windows and front door.
"The Cocker comes up quickly and so I have to be quick getting the floodgates up on the river side while I still have access," he said.
"I'm probably the only house outside the flood defences."
At the Trout Hotel, staff moved garden furniture away from the river and monitored the rising water levels which eased off in the afternoon.
Downstream, staff at The Kingfisher on Crown Street had to bring tables up from the lower beer garden as it flooded.
Shopkeepers in the town were relieved the floodgates were activited.
Jonty Chippendale, owner of The Toy Shop, checked the generator at his shop was working that morning in case of problems but said having the gates in place was reassuring.
He said: "I feel confident the flood defences will protect us. It would have to go up another three metres to go over the flood defences."