More flooding forecast as Army arrives in Cumbria to aid clean-up


More flooding has been forecast in the North West over the weekend as the Army arrives in Keswick to help the clear-up effort.

Residents of the Cumbrian town, one of the worst-hit by last weekend's flooding, will be assisted by 100 soldiers from 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

But more rain is on the cards over the weekend. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain on Saturday across north Wales, the North West, Yorkshire and Humber, the Midlands and parts of the North East.

The forecasters said: "Rain, heavy at times, looks likely to develop early on Saturday and persist until late in the day. Given saturated ground, be aware of the potential for some localised flooding of land, roads and properties, as well as some travel disruption."

The areas flagged by the forecasters' yellow rain warning are Cheshire West and Chester, Merseyside, Cheshire East, Halton, Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen, Greater Manchester, Warrington, and Blackpool.

Yellow warnings for rain and snow were extended to Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Blackpool, and Blackburn with Darwen.

Saturday's rainfall will follow a wet Friday for the South, before wetter weather spreads to the North. Scotland is forecast to endure only light showers.

A second clear-up has already taken place in a Cumbrian village flooded again over Wednesday night

The Lake District village of Glenridding had already been flooded last weekend, but after an additional 50mm of rain fell there on Wednesday, eight properties and the basement of a hotel were flooded for the second time within a week.

Residents were forced to form a human chain to help evacuate people as the Glenridding Beck burst its banks with torrential rain sweeping down the fells at around 7pm.

Police, Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service and the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were in the village throughout the night providing support and help to residents.

Jeremy Corbyn visited flood-hit homeowners and businesses in Cumbria on Thursday, receiving a warm welcome as he hailed emergency services and the community response to the deluge.

Going from shop to shop on Cockermouth high street before heading to Carlisle, the Labour leader said better flood defences were needed, but global warming and cuts to emergency services also needed to be looked at.

Mr Corbyn said: "We obviously need better flood defences, they did help, they did reduce the damage but they didn't stop it altogether. So clearly cuts in flood defence programmes are not helpful.

"We can't go on cutting the fire service and expecting them to do more and more.

"And for the people of this town a number of things come through. One is the devastation to their homes that's happened; unbelievable level of community spirit, people coming together to support each other during a time of terrible difficulty and the fantastic response from the emergency services, the fire service, the local authority, the police, the army have been in helping, everybody has got together on it and the town is going to have its food fayre on Saturday on schedule and good on them."

Mr Corbyn took time for an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday to Liz Fitton, an actress, who he met on the high street on her 65th birthday.

Tearful Mrs Fitton, who was flooded with five feet of water in her home on Sunday, said: "It's marvellous that he's come here and I thank him for coming to Cockermouth."

Amid the flood chaos, Chorley couple Simon and Yvette Holden braved the weather, with their guests, to tie the knot.

The groom, an IT analyst, 44, admitted he was "hoping and praying" that things would run smoothly having arrived at the Inn on the Lake on Wednesday as the rain resumed and roads into the village were closed off.

His bride, a 34-year-old membership services co-ordinator for the National Federation of Builders, said they would be spending their first full day as husband and wife helping out residents and "doing what they could".

As the clean-up continues, police said the multi-agency group set up in response to the floods in Cumbria has formally entered the "recovery stage" after damage to more than 6,000 properties.

The group consisted of the emergency services, the military, partner agencies and voluntary organisations, including mountain rescue teams.

A similar group led by Cumbria County Council will handle the recovery.

Figures from a rain gauge at Honister in the Lake District showed a UK record 341mm of rain had fallen in 24 hours over the weekend.

The average rainfall for Cumbria for the month of December is 146.1mm, the Met Office said.