THE COUNTY council has highlighted the vital work of local communities, contractors, help groups and emergency services, five years after Storm Desmond.

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the storm which, on December 5, 2015, inundated the county with 1.15 trillion litres of rainfall in 48 hours.

Nearly 800 bridges and 186 miles of highway were significantly damaged or completely destroyed.

The unprecedented event affected thousands of families and businesses across the county.

Cumbria County Council led on the development of a four-year Infrastructure Recovery Project.

This included repairs, replacement or restoration of more than 1,200 schemes, ranging from road patching repairs to full reconstruction of highways, slopes, retaining walls, culverts and bridges.

The total of value of the works was in the region of £120m.

Recently a four-year project culminated with the reopening of Pooley Bridge in October, representing a significant milestone in the county’s recovery, and the installation of the UK’s first stainless steel road bridge.

Councillor Keith Little, cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “As we approach the fifth anniversary of Storm Desmond, I’m pleased to say that the county council’s Infrastructure Recovery Programme is now complete.

“This four-year project included more than 1,200 individual schemes to repair and rebuild infrastructure that suffered immense damage in the storm.

“The work our teams have done, side by side with local contractors, has been incredible.

“It’s not just the scale and quality of what’s been achieved on the ground that’s so impressive, but the work behind the scenes to project manage such a large number of schemes, across a wide area and involving numerous local communities has required real skill and dedication.

“It’s particularly pleasing that local Cumbrian contractors secured the vast majority of contracts to carry out works, keeping money and jobs local.

“The strength, passion, and resilience of our local communities has been vital to meeting the challenge of repairing our beautiful county, making it more resilient.”