THOUSANDS of homes were left without power as Storm Debi wreaked havoc in south Cumbria.

Residents across the area were left without electricity as the fourth named storm of the year brought high winds and heavy rain.

Meanwhile Westmorland and Furness Council battled with blocked roads caused by fallen trees and flying debris.

The heavy rain caused rivers to swell and burst their banks in some sections, causing yet more headaches and travel disruption.

In all, the council received more than 250 reports calls and online reports in the midst of the storm either via the council’s service centre or through the police, the fire and rescue service as well as through utilities companies.

Speaking to the highways and transport strategic board for Westmorland and Furness Council, cabinet member for highways and assets councillor Peter Thornton said 120 reports were escalated to the senior duty response team., with 57 deemed emergencies that needed an immediate response.

Cllr Thornton added there were 29 trees blocking roads, five high-risk call-outs for building issues such as flying debris and 14 flood emergency reports.

Council leader Jonathan Brook joined Cllr Thornton in passing on his thanks to the hard work of the highways team.

Cllr Brook said at a cabinet meeting: “Most of us will have arrived here in a car via the highways, that’s testament to their hard work and professionalism that we have been able to do so.”

Electricity North West said more than 23,000 homes were left without power following the turbulent weather this week.

Near Kendal a tree fell on a 33,000-volt line but did not cause customers to lose power. Engineers and tree cutters attended site to make the site safe and remove the tree.

Some 4,000 homes in Windermere were affected by one outage. 

Mark Mercer, Electricity North West’s incident manager, said: “Teams have encountered some challenging conditions, with extreme weather and multiple hazards including trees on overhead lines

"In many cases our investment in automation has allowed remote restoration of supplies whilst our skilled tree cutters and engineers attended site to make it safe."

Flood alerts were in place following the heavy rain of Monday but were lifted by Wednesday.