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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Prepare for extreme weather - police

POLICE officers have warned people to be prepared for extreme weather on Tuesday following a weekend in which flash floods caused chaos and a house was struck by lightning.

The Met Office said heavy rain was due to return and high winds to appear today after conditions that had earlier seen roads closed and emergency services deployed.

Police said they received 110 reports of flooding on Saturday and a number of homes and businesses were hit by floodwater. They warn people not to travel unless necessary.

The fire service helped pump out flooded properties, divert water away from numerous homes and clear blocked drains.

In Whitehaven, Wetherspoons (Bransty Arch) and The Shipwrights pub were flooded in the early evening on Saturday, and Tangier Street and was closed to traffic for a time. Duke Street and Coach Road were both affected, as drains couldn’t cope with the heavy downpour and dirty water gushed into homes in low-lying areas.

Today (Monday) Virgin Trains said that because of strong winds forecast, delays and disruptions were expected to its services from mid-afternoon.

A spokesman said: “Customers are advised to travel early if possible. Tickets booked for travel on specific trains today will be accepted on any train today.”

A police spokesman said: “The Met Office has advised that more heavy rain is due to hit Cumbria today with high winds tomorrow, therefore police want to take this opportunity to advise people to take care and be prepared.”

In Saturday’s teatime thunderstorm, a Broughton Moor family had a lucky escape when lightning struck their house, causing a fire.
Stephen and Caroline Murray were at their home, Stockmoor Hall, with Caroline’s son Andy Skelton and his fiancée Antonia Gartland when the lightning hit around 4.40pm.

Fortunately for the family, who would have normally been in the kitchen they were in another room as Caroline was laid up with a bad back.

Roads and places affected or closed at the weekend included Briscoe Crescent, Esk Avenue and Coach Road in Whitehaven; Common End at Distington; Gilgarran; Seaton and the road between Broughton Moor and Dovenby, and Hayton and Aspatria.

The train line between Carlisle and West Cumbria was also closed on Saturday because of flooding. The line was blocked at Harrington because of a landslide and services were cancelled.

Copeland Pool was closed on Thursday and Friday last week after damage to the building.Part of the roof’s atrium detached and collided with a lamp-post.

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