Cumbria floods: Some areas flooded for third time in a month

media captionAppleby resident Sarah McKay says that local people are exhausted by the flooding

Communities in Cumbria have been flooded again - some for the third time in less than a month - following torrential rain and high winds.

Worst affected have been the Appleby, Keswick, Kendal and Glenridding areas, where river levels have risen.

Defences in Appleby were breached when the River Eden burst its banks, flooding 40 properties and prompting several rescues.

The Glenridding Hotel flooded for the third time this month.

The Environment Agency has issued 20 flood warnings across England and Wales and six in Cumbria, urging people to take immediate action.

Forecasters are predicting conditions to ease into Wednesday, although the Met Office has already issued yellow warnings for rain throughout the region for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Firefighters used pumping equipment to divert water from an electricity sub station in Appleby.

The town's road bridge was closed due to high water levels, as was Keswick's Greta Bridge.

The River Eden peaked in Appleby at about 17:00 GMT, the agency said, while it was expected to peak in Carlisle between 22:00 and 23:00.

A spokesman added: "The amount of rainfall forecast would not usually lead to disruption, but with saturated ground and river levels already high, there may be further flood impacts to roads and potentially some properties."

image copyrightGlenridding Hotel
image captionThe Glenridding Hotel has been flooded for the third time this month
image copyrightSean Banks
image captionResidents in Appleby looked on as river levels rose

Up to 40mm (1.57ins) of rain was expected to fall onto already saturated land across the county by the end of Tuesday, although that was feared to rise to 80mm (3.1ins) in upland areas, according to the Met Office.

BBC Weather said about seven months worth of rain has fallen on Shap in the past seven weeks, 65% of the average annual rainfall for the area.

Police urged drivers to be aware of surface water flooding on a number of roads, with many only passable with care.

The manager of the Glenridding Hotel, Elizabeth Ali, said she felt "defeated" as rising water from a nearby beck caused it to flood for the third time this month.

She took to Facebook to post: "The beck is overflowing once again past the bridge and the what was Ratchers Bar and the kitchen is flooding again. Contractors are in trying to save equipment.

"Fire brigade are on their way to help pump out the water we are currently at around 2ft of water ... We just need to smile and carry on. Thanks for all your nice comments."

Firefighters were also called to Keswick Rugby Club to deal with water that was an inch deep on the pitch, Cumbria Fire Brigade said.

They also rescued a 70-year-old woman from a home on Howgate Foot in Appleby and pumped water away from a substation.

image copyrightSean Banks
image captionThe rising river posed a threat to properties at Appleby
image copyrightJasmine Macleod
image captionFire crews used pumping equipment to keep rising water levels away from properties

One homeowner in Appleby said she had not expected the town's defences to be breached.

The woman called Charlotte said: "It was pretty torrential in the morning, and then the rain died off and the river rose really slowly, compared to last time the river it was very vicious.

"Normally when it floods it doesn't really affect the homes as much because of the flood defences, but it has gone right over the top of them which we did not expect."

Cumbria Police set up a multi-agency group to combat the heavy rainfall.

A force spokesman said there had been reports of motorists ignoring road closure signs which could be "extremely dangerous" and put "lives at risk".

Meanwhile, farming minister, George Eustice, has promised that about 600 farmers already badly affected by the recent floods, would have support payments fast-tracked.

image copyrightChris Crowder
image captionFlood water at Levens Hall in Kendal

Live flood warnings from the Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Note: the Scottish Environment Protection Agency display their flood alert data differently to the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales. While the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales highlights individual rivers only, in Scotland the entire region is coloured to indicate the level of alert. This map and flood alert data are supplied to the BBC by third parties. The BBC is not responsible for its accuracy and you use it at your own risk.

Tap here for up-to-date information.

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