PEOPLE are being advised not to travel in Cumbria unless absolutely necessary and to avoid fell walking completely.

A multi-agency task force has been set up at Penrith to co-ordinate the response to flooding incidents across the county.

Cumbria Police say they have received 90 calls for help because of the floods. Fire and Rescue have also been out to 150 incidents - including rescues of vulnerable people.

Chief Superintendent Kevin McGilloway, of Cumbria Constabulary, is Chair of the Multi-agency Gold Group.

He said: “All the agencies are working together with local people to ensure they are kept as safe as possible during the severe weather which is hitting some parts of the county. We are asking people not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary.

“Pedestrians in areas where there are floods, such as Cockermouth, Keswick, Penrith and Kendal, are being urged not to attempt to walk through flood waters. Anyone who notices blocked drains are also being urged not to put themselves at risk by attempting to unblock them.

“The key message is for people who are affected by the floods to be prepared, to try and protect any properties that are liable to flooding. Look out for one another including vulnerable friends and neighbours. Anyone in affected areas should ensure they carry mobile phones, torches, waterproofs and other equipment they may need and ensure they have all essential medication with them.”

Members of the public are being advised to avoid fell walking in Cumbria as the combination of high winds and rain will be worst on high ground, and they do not want people to put themselves at undue risk.

The Coastguard are also urging people to avoid fishing on sea walls or taking light craft out to sea while the weather remains poor.

They are also discouraging people from attempting to sightsee and anyone considering venturing to the coast is advised to exercise extreme caution.