Storm Desmond: No energy compensation for flood victims

Residents carry possessions from their flooded homes in Carlisle Image copyright PA
Image caption Electricity North West said 55,000 customers in Lancaster and 13,000 in Cumbria were affected when an electricity substation flooded

An energy firm has said people whose homes lost power in Lancashire and Cumbria during Storm Desmond will not be compensated.

Electricity North West made a U-turn four days after saying it had set up a team to handle possible claims.

The firm said 55,500 customers in Lancaster and 13,000 in Cumbria were affected when an electricity substation flooded.

The energy firm has received 22,000 applications for goodwill payments.

Electricity North West Operations Director Martin Deehan said: "I understand that this is not the news that many had hoped for, and I apologise that due to the large number of inquiries, and the subsequent bad weather throughout the North West during December, it has taken us longer than we would have liked to get back to customers.

'Extreme cases'

"We will be writing to each customer who has made a claim so that they can use our letter as evidence to claim for any losses as a result of the power cut through their insurance company."

He added: "In extreme cases such as this, only customers without power continuously for 48 hours - starting when we can access our equipment - automatically qualify for payments.

"Having now analysed each claim, thanks to the monumental effort of our engineers in extremely difficult circumstances, we do not believe that we have fallen below this standard."

Storm Desmond battered north-west England, as well as other parts of the UK, in December.

A month's worth of rain fell in the region in just 24 hours causing widespread disruption and severe floods.

A substation in Caton Road, Lancaster, was fully submerged as flood defences upgraded five years ago to cope with a "one-in-a-100 years flood" were breached.

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