Storm Desmond Cumbria 5th -6th December 2015
So I started the day as normal, I was up early as I was doing a winter craft fair at Crosthwaite in the Lyth valley Cumbria. I’d only heard there was heavy rain on the way but I had no idea what was about to happen, and besides its always raining where I live!
So it was absolutely ‘chucking’ it down and as I was on route to Crosthwaite when it suddenly dawned on me the scale of what was happening and how bad it was going to get. I saw cars abandoned by the road side, me in my little blue Corsa started to get a bit worried…and quite right I was too! I encountered very deep large ‘puddles’ ,where the drains were overflowing on the roadsides, I very nearly didn’t make it at one point, but my car ploughed through and we made it to the village hall.
The actual event went great and I actually sold quite a few items and greetings cards, admittedly the turn out wasn’t as strong as last year but there was still plenty of folk there considering the conditions outside!
Then there was the thought of getting home, could I even get home? That deep puddle I managed to just get through will long be deeper now; I wonder what the other roads are like? Maybe grandad will know…I was very fortunate that my grandad lives locally in Crosthwaite and I happened to be giving him a lift home after the event and stopping for some lunch, it was only then I started to see the affects of Storm Desmond. The river which is situated at the bottom of my grandads bungalow had burst its banks and was gushing across his orchard and over the lane and into the fields, it’s a sight I will never forget.
Time passed and after hearing the local news on the radio, just like I imagine in the old days when people used to put the ‘wireless’ (radio) on to hear war news etc sat by the open fire or window, it all felt so surreal. It was then that we made the decision I would stop there for the night, after all, he had a spare bed and a wood burning stove fire going and I’d be safe…and I’m glad I did too.
Generally speaking, most parts of Cumbria received more rain in two days than they would normally expect during the whole month of December. Kendal Cumbria (the town where I live), was submerged in up to 5ft of water, and flooded roads I’d never thought I’d see submerged. My Facebook feed that night was just constantly updated with videos and photographs of Storm Desmond and the devastating effects it was causing to the people I know.
Allsorts of businesses were affected from the floods from chip shops to the Lakeland wildlife Oasis Park to mechanical and engineering sites on industrial estates and many more, not to mention all the individual people and families it affected right before Christmas, could you imagine a Christmas with stripped carpets, damaged walls, no or little furniture, dampness, the smells and just general devastation. But us northerners we are strong and we deal with whatever comes or way!
A justgiving fund page was set up called ‘Cumbria 2015 Flood Appeal’ by the Cumbria Community Foundation in which to raise money for those individuals and families whose homes have had significant structural damage or flooding due to recent floods and storms. There’s still time to donate if you would like the link is HERE.
And I live to fight another day and our little town and its people have clubbed together and shown how community spirit prevails, but I will now look up the weather forecast before an event and I’ve learnt to never underestimate a storm!