DECEMBER 3 marks the seventh anniversary of Storm Desmond but that is only one of the floods that have  threatened lives and property around Cumbria.

As with any look back at the floods in our area, we have to start by paying tribute to PC Bill Barker, the policeman who went to work one morning and never came home.

Bill Barker died in during the November floods of 2009. He was trying to keep motorists off the Northside bridge in Workington, which was in danger of collapse.

In fact it did collapse, sweeping Bill Barker to his death. It is impossible to know how many motorists would have crossed that bridge without him and how many families would have been in each of those cars - but it is a surety that he saved lives that day.

Looking back today, however, we can see so many positives that happened during Storm Desmond and the floods before it.

As a reporter in New Zealand, I had reported on major floods but was astonished at the speed at which things happened here.

The 2009 flood was probably the worst for the area as a whole.

Workington was suddenly cut off from anyone north of the town. The bridge was gone, roads were impassable and towns like Cockermouth were completely closed down.

I remember being shocked at people complaining about how long it took to try and reinstate the infrastructure. I was shocked, because I had never seen so much being done in so short a time ever before.

Northern Rail and Network Rail set up a temporary station, Workington North, to assist people to work. It became so popular that there was some dismay when it was finally torn down again.

I still think, however, that it reminded people of the convenience of train travel - something that continues today.

Then there was Tesco. Three was no Asda at Dunmail Park in those days, although there was a Co-op in Maryport. Within days, Tesco had established a pop-up shop near the Workington North station so people on the north side of the river were able to access the supermarket.

Not that it would need to last for too long. The army got involved and immediately started building a bailey bridge acoss the Derwent to bring Workington together again and give access to the town centre.

One of the abiding memories for me, was going to report on a number of pop-up shops in Cockermouth.

Mitchell's Auctions had opened its doors and fitted in as many local busiesses as they could.

It was not only great to see the businesses moved from the inundated Main Street, but also to listen to the people. Not only were they supporting local shops but were wearing stickers reminding other to do the same.

Floods cause tragedy but human beings are great!