HUNDREDS of people were affected by a storm that tore through the county, but as clean-up operations are continuing many people are preparing for another storm that is heading our way.

Over the weekend Cumbria was battered by strong winds and heavy downpours which saw many homes in Appleby flooded and left thousands of homes across the county without power for several hours.

Homes and businesses were submerged as river levels kept rising in the Eden Valley.

In total, more than 70 flood warnings and alerts were issued along with widespread travel disruption.

As Storm Ciara battered the county police were forced to close a number of roads.

Appleby was a particularly badly hit area.

On Saturday night residents and volunteers worked through the night to put flood defences in place and hand out sandbags, not suspecting the river would rise to almost Storm Desmond levels.

During the early hours of Sunday morning, residents moved cars and packed up belongings ready for the impact of the storm.

Emergency services continued to rescue people and animals and crews from Lazonby Fire Station were called after the farmer had been cut off from dry land as a result of the rising water.

Rain was so powerful that a United Utilities water main pipe became damaged, taking almost five days to repair.

The pipe located underwater in the Selside area near Kendal was damaged by the storm on Sunday.

Teams battled challenging conditions, including snow in the rural location where the water main crosses a river bed, meaning it took longer than anticipated to complete the work.

United Utilities informed people that the pipe had been repaired yesterday morning, however, properties may still face water problems for up to three days.

The reason for the delay is because 90m litres of water needs to be brought back to the network.

Martin Padley, water service director at United Utilities, said: “Our teams are working around the clock to get this pipe repaired and water supplies back to normal.

“I want to thank residents who are showing real community spirit in helping each other with the bottled water supplies.

“Our tankering operation is helping to maintain some water supplies and we have drafted in additional tankers from outside the region. The weather conditions and rural roads are making this especially difficult for driving HGVs and we are grateful for the support of the local council here."

Nearly ten thousand homes experienced black-outs for several hours over Saturday and Sunday, with 200 extra workers drafted in to help solve problems.

Martin Deehan, operations director for the north for Electricity North West, explained: "There were extremely high winds over the weekend.

"We knew it was going to be a prolonged event. Almost 10,000 homes across Cumbria were affected and thankfully we were able to reconnect them all.

"It's been a tough job but we've had a fantastic response. 200 workers responded and we had lots of support.

"The support behind the engineers has been great. Almost 5,000 calls were received and it was a real team effort.

"We now have Storm Dennis on the way and it's difficult to predict what is going to happen.

"We always look towards the potential damage and we're ready to go again and we have similar workers on hand.

"We have no shortage of people volunteering to work."