Slides in this set
Causes and Magnitude of Event
·When Workington's flood defences were rebuilt following the great
storms of 2005, residents were assured they could withstand a "once in a
·But, what the local authorities hadn't realised was that just four years on,
Workington, and its neighbouring town, Cockermouth, would be flooded by
what was expressed on 20th November as a once in a millennium event.
·In the 24 hours leading up to 12.45am on Friday, the Environment Agency
recorded rainfall of 314.4mm in the area, thought to be an all-time record
·However, the residents of Cumbria's Derwent Valley didn't need statistics
to tell them they had been hit by one of the most devastating floods the
area has seen in a generation.
·Cockermouth, where the rivers Cocker and Derwent meet, suffered the
worst flooding, as both rivers had burst their banks.…read more
Short Term Impacts
·The surge of water smashed down four bridges over the Derwent, one causing a police
officer to be swept away. It flooded more than 100 homes and forged a new course
down the centre of Cockermouth's high street washing away everything in its path.
·The lake of water it left behind was up to 8ft (2.5m) deep in places, and with further
rain forecasts to come over the weekend, residents of the whole of Cumbria feared
there was more to come.
·Just over 1,000 households and businesses remained without power on Tuesday 24th
November, plus 38 at Northside and Concrete Row in Workington.
·Throughout Thursday night and all day Friday three RAF search and rescue Sea Kings
worked non-stop to winch people to safety while below them, other rescuers were
negotiating Cockermouth's Main Street and its alleyway tributaries in a fleet of vessels
ranging from dinghies to kayaks.
·Some 20 schools in the area were forced to close and several were turned into
emergency shelters for more than 200 Cockermouth evacuees. These included
Cockermouth Secondary School and St Joseph's School, Workington.…read more
Long Term Impacts
·Clear-ups continued in the damaged towns, with the last traces of Christmas gifts and
other sodden debris swept from Cockermouth's Main Street.
·Rebuilding bridges and repairing roads damaged by the floods will cost Cumbria
County Council between £50-100 million. The Government has pledged £2 million so far
to cope with the impact. Also, the flood bill for Cumbria could hit £200m with more rain
·Two of Cockermouth's three health centres have been knocked out, but a new base is
being built at Cockermouth cottage hospital, 150ft (45 metres) above the rivers.
·Professor Roger Falconer, a water management specialist at Cardiff University, said he
believed the force of the water swirling around the bridge's pillars was undermining the
·Network Rail engineers are soon to begin work on temporary platforms for a shuttle
from the town's north bank to Workington station in the main centre, south of the
Derwent. Cumbria county council hopes to have a single-lane temporary road bridge in
place before Christmas.…read more
Impact on Businesses
Michael Dunn, manager of the Bitter End pub in Cockermouth, said: "This is a tourist town
as well, so it will hit very hard. It has devastated the town. There are a lot of properties in
Main Street, private shops, that have had their windows smashed in by the force of the
water and by debris in the water.
Judith Jarman, 43, whose florist's shop was flooded out, was doing her bit to raise morale
by handing out armfuls of flowers. "Most of the stock is ruined, so it's either the skip or
give them away," she said. "If I can make a few people happy then I will."
National Trust officials saw that in Cockermouth, stood William's Wordsworth's birthplace.
Jeremy Barton, project manager for Wordsworth House, listed what had gone missing.
"The wrought iron gates at the front have completely gone, they've been lifted away and
dumped well into the Irish Sea by now. The front garden wall has also gone."
Objects in the house
were moved to the
upper floor and
saved from flood
Walled garden of Wordsworth
House when the flood waters
had receded.…read more