Thousands left without power as Northern rivers burst their banks

High water level in Lancaster city centre the day after the flooding. All three bridges closed in Lancaster, and the west coast mainline closed due to flooding on the tracks.
High water level in Lancaster city centre the day after the flooding.
All three bridges closed in Lancaster, and the west coast mainline closed due to flooding on the tracks.

Over 60,000 homes are left without power in Lancaster, Morecambe and parts of Cumbria as a record amount of rain flooded the areas. Carlisle and Kendal are the worst affected areas for flooding as the army, police, and lifeboats sailed around the streets evacuating people from their homes.

The amount of rainfall caused the rivers and lakes to burst their banks, so badly they flooded the electrical substations resulting in a complete blackout for Lancaster and Morecambe, Carlisle, Cockermouth, Kendal, and other smaller areas of Cumbria.

Lancaster’s main cross river connections, Skerton bridge, Greyhound bridge, and Millennium bridge have been closed due to cargo and debris floating down the river and hitting the bridges on Saturday night. The bridges have been assessed by a structural engineer this morning and as no damage was found, they should be reopened by this afternoon. Until then, diversions can be made on the M6 from Carnforth (J35) to Galgate (J33) or by foot over the railway bridge (Carlisle bridge).

The electricity went off at 10:30pm on Saturday night, this area of the North West was in complete darkness until the early hours of this morning (Monday 7 December) when dozens of temporary generators were distributed to power small areas while the main substation is repaired. It is thought it could be Tuesday evening until mains power is restored.

Electricity North West have said: “Power is restored to all but 300 homes in Lancaster, Morecambe and the surrounding area. 2,657 properties remain without power in Cumbria, where floodwater is restricting access for Electricity North West teams.”

They add: “We can’t control what people use. So all we can say is over consumption will trip out the generator. So caution is advised!”

In the meantime, people are advised to switch off non-essential appliances to conserve as much energy as possible to allow the generators to run for longer.

Mark Williamson, operations director of Electricity North West says: “We will continue to work with the emergency services and our other partners in Cumbria to gain access to our sites and restore power to those still waiting to be connected as soon as the waters have receded and we thank them for their continued support.”

Only small corner shops were open yesterday and again today to buy some essentials, some operating without power; and bigger supermarkets working from separate generators were handing out bread and milk at the doors as people ventured out on foot to discover what was happening.

On Twitter  on Sunday, Electricity North West tweeted: “Latest number of properties with a by area from our incident room.”

Photo by Electricity North West on Twitter:
Photo by Electricity North West on Twitter:

Flooding has reduced in some areas, as water on the roads is pumped out manually, and some areas drain, filling the estuaries and sending it out to sea. However, many roads are still closed. People are being warned to only be on the roads if necessary and safe to do so, and to check before you travel.

Many schools, colleges, shops, and workplaces have been closed today so ensure you check the news online, or the The Bay Radio for more information on closures.

As of 10am today the list of homes without power follows:

Area Properties off
Lancaster 300
Fusehill area of Carlisle 1734
Cockermouth 218
James Street area of Carlisle 204
Appleby 161
Willowholme area of Carlisle 159
Grizedale 75
Mintsfeet area of Kendal 72
Melling 22
Ravenstone 10
Braithwaite 2
Total currently off supply 2,957



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