A BODY has been recovered in the search for an elderly man who fell into the raging River Gowan yesterday.

Police were called at 10.01am to reports that he had fallen into the river at Staveley, which is a tributory to the River Kent.

Officers, along with the Underwater Search Team, have recovered the body which has been located in the Kendal area.

Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a COBRA emergency committee meeting this morning and said he will be visiting Cumbria later today.

South Lakeland District Council has thanked everyone for food and bedding donations but said they now have enough. Cleaning materials still needed. These can be dropped off at Kendal Town Hall.

Power has been lost again affecting 61,000 homes in Lancaster, Morecambe, Heysham and Carnforth.

Meanwhile, all bridges in Kendal have now opened following fears they have been left unstable.

Cumbria County Council shut Victoria, Stramongate, Miller and Nether Bridges last night.

Romney Bridge remained open. Following inspections this morning they have all re-opened.

Motorists were asked not to travel on the A591 into Kendal due to flood water on the road.

According to a police statement released at 12.10pm today, the northbound carriageway of the A591 dual carriageway at Prizet, Kendal, has reopened following flooding but one lane closure remains in place.

Traffic is now able to travel from Junction 36 of the M6 motorway towards Kendal, Windermere and Ambleside.

The A591 remains closed north of Grasmere (between Grasmere and Keswick) and is likely to be for some time. The southbound carriageway of the A591 at Prizet was reopened yesterday.

Nether Bridge last night. Picture by Sasha Wells.

The Westmorland Gazette:

Yellow weather warnings are in place for Cumbria from 5pm today (Monday) until 6pm Thursday. 

The bridges that were closed overnight

The Westmorland Gazette:

A wheelchair user in Dent was carried to safety by members of the Cave Rescue Organisation at 2.30pm today.

The North West Ambulance Service was unable to reach the 34-year-old female who was trapped upstairs and in need of hospital treatment.

Following assessment by a team doctor, she was carried and wheeled to a Yorkshire Ambulance Service road ambulance for transport on to hospital.

Many people spent the night sleeping in cars and homeowners woke to discover the extent of damage caused by Storm Desmond.

Dozens of school are closed across the county, the historic Pooley Bridge has collapsed near Ullswater and hundreds of people were forced to evacuate as a month's worth of rain fell in a day.

Pooley Bridge

The Westmorland Gazette:

Visit www.cumbria.gov.uk/school_closures for a full list of closures.

Kendal College is closed today. A decision will be made later today regarding when it will re-open.

There are unconfirmed reports a section of a bridge over the River Eden in Appleby has collapsed.

Most elective non-urgent operations have been cancelled at Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Westmorland General Hospital.

The University of Cumbria has closed its campuses in Ambleside, Lancaster and Carlisle until further notice.

Environment Secretary Liz Truss chaired an emergency Government COBRA meeting on Sunday.

She said: "Our flood defences and the swift actions of emergency services have protected thousands of properties across the country but unprecedented levels of rainfall mean that the water in some areas has risen to levels never seen before. That has meant that while flood defences have delayed and reduced the impact, we have seen some water overtopping defences in places.

"This morning I chaired a COBR meeting, ensuring that every possible resource is available to the emergency services and responders on the ground."

In a letter to David Cameron, Tim Farron MP has insisted that it is “essential that the government respond to this crisis in a fair and forward-thinking way, by making available the funds needed to repair the damage which the extreme flooding has caused in South Lakeland.”

Eden MP Rory Stewart, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, met with emergency services in Appleby Sunday morning.

The Westmorland Gazette:

On Saturday, the River Eden broke its banks and Appleby was one of the first towns to be at risk.

Homes were evacuated as main roads through the town turned into rivers.

Fire crews dealt with more than 162 incidents between 7am and midnight.

There was serious flooding on the A590 near Levens causing many motorists to abandon their cars to sleep at the Villa hotel. Some could not make it there and had to sleep in the cars.

The RNLI rescued six people and two dogs from a remote bungalow in the Levens area.

The people – including a pregnant woman and two children – had been stranded for 12 hours and were using flash lights to signal for help.

The flood water surrounding the property was fast flowing and this, combined with the unpredictable terrain, meant it was too dangerous to use a boat to rescue them.

A local farmer volunteered to use his tractor to ferry five members of the RNLI Flood Rescue Team to the bungalow with a rescue sled.

The occupants were evacuated two at a time and then transferred to a local pub to warm up.

Hundreds of houses have flooded across the region with many people trapped upstairs.

Motorists spent the night in their cars as flooding closed the A590 between Levens and Meathop while there was also flooding close to Brettargh Holt roundabout.

A590 at Levens. Picture by David Kitchen

The Westmorland Gazette:

There has also been a land slide on Dunmail Raise.

The road has been washed away between dual carriageway on Dunmail and Thirlmere.

Dunmail Raise. Picture by Libby Dixon

The Westmorland Gazette:

No trains are running between Preston and Carlisle.

RNLI flood rescue volunteers worked through the night helping people in Kendal.

The Army was called in to help evacuate people from Carlisle, where hundreds were evacuated.

More than 300 people self-evacuated in Kendal alone while there was also heavy flooding in Appleby and across the Lake District.

On Saturday a major incident was declared by Cumbria Police as the storm continued to wreak havoc on the county.

The rivers Kent, Leven and Eden burst their banks and surface water drains become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of water which led to localised flooding throughout the county and beyond.

Among the many businesses to be affected was the Whitewater Hotel at Backbarrow where the floods swept into its bar, restaurant, leisure centre and timeshare units.
The nearby Swan Hotel has shut.


Whitewater Hotel. Picture by Peter Chadwick

The Westmorland Gazette:

Abbot Hall Art Gallery at Kendal was hit by flooding from the River Kent.

A spokesman said: "The collections in the upper galleries were never threatened by the flood water, which was restricted to the lower ground floor. Unfortunately the Coffee House has been badly affected and will have to remain closed for the immediate future while we assess the damage.

"We are assessing all the collections to check for any damage due to increased humidity levels. The Canaletto: Celebrating Britain exhibition will re-open as soon as the Gallery is a safe and comfortable place for visitors.

"The Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry wasn’t affected by the flood waters but will remain closed until the Gallery is open.

"Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House which was closed over the weekend due to poor road conditions is open again as usual."

Among those who had to be rescued from the roads was Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron. 

Mr Farron was driving near Milnthorpe when he got stuck yesterday.

"We were getting our way round the various diversions and basically a river that isn't normally there was there," he told the BBC.

"Having been around the patch today talking to people who have been directly affected, I now find myself in the middle of it. But we're all safe, that's the main thing."

He was rescued by eventually rescued by friends.

Flookburgh-based Bay Search and Rescue  were deployed to fifteen incidents.

The most serious of which involved a man being dragged 200 yards down a raging beck in Windermere.

He managed to stop himself just before going under a bridge, where the team helped him out and treated a lot of cuts and abrasions.

Hagglund teams evacuated houses and care homes in Kendal, while they also helped out in Penrith, Tebay and Kirkby Stephen.

Later on in the day, together with Kendal MRT, they evacuated an elderly couple from their flooded house on the Strand at Milnthorpe. 

The International Rescue Corps, which responds to natural and man made disasters all over the world, sent 14 members, five boats and two ambulances to Kendal and Keswick - two of the worst hit towns in the county.

Royal National Lifeboat Institution's Flood Rescue Team and the Red Cross were also deployed.

Shap had 178.2mm of rain falling in the 24 hours until 7pm.

The average rainfall for Cumbria for the month of December is 146.1mm. 

Hundreds of homes close to the River Kent in Kendal have been flooded and Coledale High Bridge in Braithwaite, near Keswick, has collapsed - leaving residents in the village stranded.

There are reports of severe flooding to houses and businesses across Kendal with Shap Road, Aynam Road and Lound Road all hit badly.

Shap Road. Picture by Paula Fearnley

The Westmorland Gazette:

Parr Street leading to Aynam Road. Picture by Louise Barker

The Westmorland Gazette:

Castle Crescent. Picture by Zoe Baker

The Westmorland Gazette:

250 people attended an emergency reception centre at Kendal Town Hall while around 80 are at Kendal Leisure Centre.

Bedding was donated by individuals as well as Argos in Kendal and the town’s Premier Inn, while Tesco has donated food and many volunteers have been arriving at the reception centres to offer help.

A centre has also been set up at the Marchesi Centre in Windermere.

Glebe Road, Bowness. Picture by Allan Winrow

The Westmorland Gazette:

Cumbria Health on Call has issued an urgent plea for any doctors to offer support by calling 03000 247 247.

The storm also led to power outages across the region.

Thousands of customers are without power in areas.

Flooding at a major substation in Lancaster left 55,000 properties without power in north Lancashire, including in Carnforth and Bolton-le-Sands.

Electricity North West and partner agencies had been pumping water from the area since earlier this evening but the additional defences have now been breached.

In Appleby 1,011 customers were off at peak, 341 have been restored and 670 remain off.

In Kirkby Stephen 1,266 were off at peak, 1,082 restored and there are 184 remaining and there are 30 customers in Grasemre without power.

Chair of the Strategic Coordinating Group, Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Andy Towler said: “Due to the current weather conditions being experienced across Cumbria, the emergency services are experiencing a high number of flooding related calls.

"These include a number of rescues of people from vehicles stuck in flood water. Apart from the obvious risk to members of the public, the abandoned vehicles are then causing considerable problems for emergency services when travelling around the county.”

At around 4pm the Environment Agency issued severe flood warnings for the River Kent meaning there was a danger to life to residents living close to the banks from Helsington, Burneside and Kendal town centre.

Grasmere residents were evacuated from the Stock Lane area.



South Lakeland District Council has opened its contact centre in Kendal so that residents can call 01539 733333 for information.

Firefighters rescued three people from the roof of their car when it became stuck in flood water on the B5305 Hutton-in-the-Forest. Police closed the road as a precaution. 

Earlier, traffic was tailing back both ways on the A65 between J36 of the M6 at Crooklands and Kirkby Lonsdale after cars broke down in the flood water.

A Cumbria Police spokesman warned 'motorists not to drive unless absolutely necessary'.

Kendal town centre was virtually deserted on Saturday as shoppers stayed away due to the rain and strong winds.

The TKMaxx store in Stricklandgate began closing at 1pm when it would  normally remain open on a Saturday until 8pm.

It is thought that managers had become concerned for the safety of both staff and customers in view of the travelling conditions.


Well another wet day here in Cumbria!! I am afraid we are CLOSED TODAY getting to Grizedale is certainly interesting!...

Posted by grizedale mtb on Saturday, 5 December 2015

Throughout the day, police were turning vehicles round at Prizet filling station because of the flooding.

Motorists en route to both Kendal and the Lakes beyond are being forced to return to J36 of the M6 and either take the A65 Crooklands road into Kendal or go up to J37.

At 5.30am, firefighters were called to help pump water from two properties that had been flooded on Birkbeck Gardens in Kirkby Stephen.

Shortly afterwards, crews were called to deal with flooding at the Rothay Garden Hotel in Grasmere. The water had come into the property from the river behind.


Meanwhile at Appleby, police warned on Saturday morning that 50 homes were at risk of being flooded. A reception centre was set up in the Sports Hall at Appleby Grammar School.


The Sands, Appleby

Posted by Laura Foster on Saturday, 5 December 2015


County and district councillor Roger Bingham, of Ackenthwaite, said: "I have lived here for 73 years and I have never seen the water higher in Milnthorpe. I have seen the fire service rescue people from the upstairs room of a house on The Strands by the playing fields at Milnthorpe.

"At one stage yesterday (Sunday) Milnthorpe was inaccessible - we were completely surrounded by flood water.

"In 2005 I was in the county council cabinet when it was largely Carlisle affected. In 2009 I was chairman of the county council when it was Cockermouth and Workington affected. This time is is the entire county."

In Kendal, police taped off footpaths leading to the spating River Kent.

If you have a power cut or if you notice any power lines down please stay away and contact Electricity North West on 0800 195 4141, www.electricitynorthwest.co.uk or follow @ElectricityNW for live updates.

For  more information about flood alerts, visit http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx

Visit the Traffic Link map at www.cumbria.police.uk/traffic-link-map to keep up to date with the latest situation on the roads.

To keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts, visit the Met Office website: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

You can also contact the Cumbria Highways Hotline on 0845 609 6609.

Visit www.southlakeland.gov.uk/newsroom/advice-for-residents-following-flooding for useful information.


  • If you have been taking flood photographs, you can email them to allan.tunningley@nqnw.co.uk. 
  • Please ensure that you only take such images where it is safe to do so.
  • Send in your stories to mike.addison@nqnw.co.uk or comment below