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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Flood danger spots identified

MORE than 60 Cumbrian communities are living under the threat of flash flooding – double the number in the rest of the entire north west region.

Following high-profile problems across the area, the Environment Agency has compiled a new list of the areas most at risk – potentially affecting thousands of people.

It includes almost 20 communities in the west of the county, including those along the coast such as the River Ehen (covering Egremont, Thornhill, Braystones and Cleator), Skirting Beck (Egremont), Nor Beck (Cleator Moor), Calder Bridge and Ennerdale Bridge.

A total of 99 areas are identified, 67 across Cumbria and a further 32 in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

The agency says not every property in these communities will be at risk. However it stresses that it is important everyone in the area is aware of the dangers and ensures they are prepared for it to hit at anytime.

A spokesman said flash flooding is caused by intense rainfall. It occurs suddenly with little or no warning – often before emergency services have time to arrive.

It tends to happen when heavy rainfall runs off land and quickly swells rivers and streams, and can also occur where drainage systems are overwhelmed.

Following a detailed study to identify the areas most at risk, the agency is contacting householders and business owners that could be affected. Information leaflets about preparing for flooding are also being distributed.

Mark Garratt, its flood and coastal risk manager, said: “Knowing your flood risk is the first step to protecting your family and property. Once you know the risks, you can put measures in place to stay safe.”

For information and advice go to www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood or call 03708 506 506.

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