A near miss for Kendal this time around, but it's worth mentioning first of all that others who shared the heartbreak of the December 2015 flooding have not been so lucky this time around.

Our thoughts are with those in Shap, Appleby and Burneside who were hit with the worst of Storm Ciara, and no doubt readers will join the staff of The Westmorland Gazette in wishing those communities a speedy recovery.

At the time of going to print, there are people in Cumbria still without running water. There are Cumbrians who are trying to return their houses to normality after dark, dirty flood water invaded their homes.

To those readers in Kendal, this will bring back some unwelcome memories.

It's been four years since the Storm Desmond flooding, but what has been done to protect the town since then?

Carlisle, which was hit badly by flooding, already has construction crews working on phase one of the city's flood defences. This time around, Carlisle can count itself luck too - the city's Warwick Road area, so badly gutted by the 2015 floods, had water lapping up to the doorsteps of houses. But it begs the question - why hasn't anything been started in Kendal?

Such a near miss should sharpen the minds and resolve of those who are working to make the flood defences a priority.

As Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron tells The Gazette on page 7, “Now is not the time for dither and delay, but for action.”

The Environment Agency also said that Storm Ciara is “a timely reminder how important it is to better protect our local area."

Against this backdrop there are also those who protest against the flood defences because of the loss of trees it would entail. This is a valid point and those people raising these concerns should be heard out, but a compromise, or at least a decision, needs to be forthcoming.

We at The Gazette feel greatly relieved to be writing about a near miss for Kendal residents, not another catastrophic flood event, but we worry that next time we may not be so lucky.

There is, both figuratively and literally, another storm brewing - Storm Dennis is on its way, set to hit this weekend, and there must be progress on Kendal flood defences in the near future.