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  1. Updates on Tuesday 15 December 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Martin Lewes


    Live updates for Cumbria have finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel.  

    In the meantime you can keep in touch: Email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook.   

  2. Ministers visit Kendal and Carlisle to see flood damage

    Martin Lewes


    Two ministers have been in Cumbria today to see the damage done by the floods - James Wharton, the Northern Powerhouse minister, was in Kendal, and Greg Clarke, the communities minister, was in Carlisle.

    Mr Wharton told BBC Radio Cumbria it was important for ministers to see what was happening. 

    "We're having meetings about this every day, Cobra meetings at the highest level, because it's a real priority down in Westminster, but those meetings have to be informed not just by phone calls and information fed through, but by an on-the-ground understanding of the impact."

  3. County looks for temporary fix on A591

    Highways engineers say they still haven't established how long it will take to repair the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick


    Hundreds of tonnes of debris were cleared at the weekend by contractors and Army engineers.

    This afternoon the county council said ways of allowing people to bypass the damaged sections of road were being explored as a matter of urgency. 

    But engineers are still assessing the structural damage the road had sustained, and until that is done, no timescale for repairs can be provided.

  4. MPs call for more help for county

    MPs from Cumbria and Lancashire have been pressing for more government help to repair the damage done by the floods.

    Flooded road

    Lib Dem Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron welcomed the government's offer of £50m but said it was "nowhere near enough".  He says PriceWaterhouseCoopers has estimated the cost at £500m.

    Workington Labour MP Sue Hayman told the Commons: "Parents are telling me children are too frightened to go to sleep in case in happens again. They are frightened of the rain - it’s heartbreaking."

    Environment Secretary Liz Truss told MPs: "We are not complacent about our flood defences. We will be looking at what has happened in recent weeks to make sure we learn lessons."

  5. Former MP says homes must be repaired to survive the next time

    Carlisle's former MP Eric Martlew, whose home was among those flooded for a second time, has said houses in the city should be specially adapted to deal with the threat.

    Eric Martlew

    Mr Martlew told BBC Radio Cumbria that although his house had been less badly flooded, almost as much work was involved in repairs.  Only the electrics, which had been replaced higher up after the previous flood, were unaffected.

    "When we're doing our houses what we should do is see if we can tank (waterproof) it, use a different sort of plaster, do all the sorts of things so if we do get flooded we can be up and running in a fortnight or three weeks."

  6. Ulverston blaze sparks 10-hour operation

    Fire crews from as far away as Kendal were called when a three-storey house in Sountergate in Ulverston caught fire early this morning.

    Aerial platform being used to fight fire

    The fire was reported by a passer-by just after 03:30. At first it was thought people might be inside the building, but the owners turned out to be away.

    Fire crews from Ulverston and Barrow were joined by others from Grange and Kendal.  

    At one point the teams were withdrawn when a ceiling collapsed on the first floor.

    The last fire engine left just after 13:00 - nearly 10 hours after the first call.

  7. Travel: Landslip stops trains near Armathwaite

    BBC Travel

    There's no service on the Settle-Carlisle line between Appleby and Carlisle because of a small landslip near Armathwaite.  

    It's hoped services will resume this evening. Check the latest travel news here.

  8. Forty roads and 22 bridges still closed after floods

    Highways engineers say 22 bridges are still closed across Cumbria - 16 have been damaged or destroyed, and another six are awaiting inspection.

    Pooley Bridge

    Altogether 40 roads are still shut, including the A686 at Langwathby and the A591 at Thirlmere.   

    This afternoon officials said the A686 should open early in the new year, possibly before Christmas.  

    Planning to replace the bridges is under way, including the use of temporary crossings.

  9. Travel: Trains from Carlisle still disrupted

    BBC Travel

    Trains between Carlisle and Dumfries are still disrupted by flooding and landslides. Buses are replacing the Scotrail service.

    You can get the latest updates here.

  10. Travel: Burst water main closes road

    BBC Travel

    Windermere Road in Grange-Over-Sands is closed between the B5277 Lindale Road junction and the Bell Hill junction because of a burst water main.  

    You can get the latest travel updates here.

  11. Commons clash over flood money

    The government is being urged to do more to ensure there isn't a repeat of the severe flooding in Cumbria and Lancashire over the last 10 days. 

    Ministers insist that more money is being invested in flood defences, but Labour claim there has been "reckless" cuts in recent years.

    Kerry McCarthy

    Shadow Environment Secretary Kerry McCarthy told the Commons: "This government is letting down communities dreading the next heavy rainfall, and future generations who'll bear the brunt of climate change."

  12. Carlisle road closed for clear-up

    Warwick Road in Carlisle will be closed from 21:00 this evening until 07:00 tomorrow and again on the following night to allow workers to clear flood damaged goods and skips.

  13. How The Force could boost Lakes tourism

    There are hopes that Cumbria could benefit from the 7th Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. 

    Some of the special effects sequences in the film were filmed in Cumbria with spaceships seen flying above Derwent Water.

    Cumbria Tourism is hoping it will have the same effect on tourism as the film about the Lake District farmer and children's author, Beatrix Potter.

  14. Wetlands 'best way to reduce floods'

    Experts say creating more bogs and marshes at the top of Cumbria's rivers is an important part of preventing floods lower down.


    It's the sort of measure that will be considered by a new committee being set up to look at better flood prevention.  It'll be chaired by the Penrith and the Border Conservative MP Rory Stewart, who's ministerial responsibilities include this area.

    Simon Johnson from the Eden Rivers Trust says dredging rivers can play a part in some places, but slowing the flow of water off the hills is the key.

    "Natural rivers and wetland are the best way of managing floods," he told BBC Radio Cumbria.