Cockermouth flood defences hold - but town is braced for more bad weather
Last updated at 08:34, Friday, 29 June 2012
Cockermouth residents are bracing themselves for more heavy rain and a further test of the town’s flood defences from today.
Last weekend’s deluge was held back by the defences – the first time they had been seriously tested since the 2009 floods.
Forecasters predict more heavy rain today and light rain tomorrow to add to high river levels.
Residents anxiously watched as river levels rose last Friday.
The Honest Lawyer restaurant, on Main Street, which has only been open a year after refurbishment following flood damage, came very close to another flood.
Christine Ryan, co-owner with husband Quentin, said: “The water didn’t come up to the windows like during the last floods but the defences on the doors managed to hold, which was a relief. The weekend was very frightening as we have no insurance for floods.
“The river was very high and fast and without our barriers it could have been another flood.”
Flood warnings were issued overnight last Friday.
Sue Cashmore, chairman of the Cockermouth Flood Action Group, said: “The flood defences on Gote Road were tested on Friday and the pumping system was working very nicely.
“This was their first serious test and without them we would probably have been flooded. The river was very high and very angry.
“It is worrying to have this amount of rain in June, so that is all the more reason to get the flood defences built.
“This emphasises why we needed the community contribution, and the defences have done their job.”
Many residents in Waterloo Street put their floodgates out.
Geoff Jones, 54, said: “I was up all Friday night watching the river and we had about two feet to spare.
“They are due to start the defences here next week so I will wait and see how high the wall is after that.”
Rachel Habgood, of Market Street, who lives with mother Jean and runs Riverside Bed and Breakfast, said she moved all her furniture upstairs.
The Environment Agency has started flood defence works on Rubbybanks Road and it is hoped that these will be as successful as the ones built on Gote Road in the aftermath of the 2009 floods.
Firefighters worked through the night last Friday in Keswick’s Elliott Park and Greta Bridge area to prevent widespread flooding.
Crews were called out at 11.45pm on Thursday to pump water away from buildings and did not stop until 7am on Friday.
Firefighters were then called at 10am on Saturday to pump water from Keswick Rugby Club’s Davidson Park.
Threlkeld Cricket Club was hit by hundreds of tonnes of rubble and sludge.
Club chairman Richard Allen estimated it caused up to £100,000 of damage but said it could have been prevented had a nearby culvert been cleaned out regularly by the authorities. It is understood that it was last dredged in 2006.
Mr Allen said: “Our lovely ground has been completely destroyed through a lack of foresight from one body or another. I hope someone will stand up and accept responsibility.”
He said the area may have to be re-laid and re-seeded.
First published at 08:33, Friday, 29 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
We are due to come to Cockermouth, Waterloo Street, on the 15 September for 2 weeks and wondered if the defences on the wall behind the properties is completed as the house we rent is next to the foot bridge and has a parking space. Will this be free at this time please.Many thanks Meg Alexander
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