Flooding chaos continues in Cumbria

Communities in Cumbria are facing up to the damage caused by recent torrential downpours, with one town being literally cut in half.

The collapse of the Northside bridge and the closure of the Calva bridge in Workington, in the west of the county, has left some residents facing a 90-mile detour to visit the other side of the town.

Engineers have been reviewing all of Cumbria's 1,800 bridges over fears that flooding has left many structurally unsound.

A total of 16 bridges and 25 roads are closed across the county, although the council are hopeful of reopening some in the next few days.

The Environment Agency said the unprecedented rainfall "would have overwhelmed any defence" and warned river levels across the region were expected to remain relatively high for the next few days.

A spokesman said "the phenomenal rainfall would have overwhelmed any defence" and dredging the river at Cockermouth would have made "no difference whatsoever".

Copyright © Press Association 2009

www.cumbria.gov.uk (Cumbria County Council)