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  1. #1
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    Policeman missing as bridge collapses in Cumbria floods

    A search is under way for a missing policeman after a bridge collapsed in Cumbria amid devastating floods.
    The officer was unaccounted for after Workington's Northside bridge caved in, which also cut off local gas supplies.

    In Cockermouth, more than 200 people were rescued by emergency services - 50 by RAF helicopters and others by boat.

    The Environment Agency said the scale of the flooding was unprecedented while Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "Our thoughts are with all those impacted."

    Police in Cumbria have received a high volume of calls about missing people and more than 1,200 people were left without electricity overnight.

    In Cockermouth centre, water levels had reached more than 2.5m (8.2ft) and the Armed forces were also drafted in to help with the rescue operation.

    This included three RAF search and rescue helicopters from bases at Valley, Leconfield and Boulmer and two RAF mountain rescue teams.

    Five RAF Sea King helicopters were sent to the Cockermouth area, along with RNLI lifeboats and coastguard teams.

    Andy Clift, the RNLI's divisional inspector for the north, said the service had rescued dozens of people in dangerous conditions.

    He said: "We've experienced very strong river flows, over 20 knots, which make operating boats in those conditions quite hazardous.

    "Certainly earlier on, when the flood water was at its peak, we were getting a lot of debris, including cars, being swept down the river and that also was very hazardous in the darkness, for our crews."

    The Environment Agency said rainfall in Cumbria reached record levels with Seawaite Farm recording 314.4mm (12.3 inches) in 24 hours.

    Its Floodline service received more than 12,000 calls in 48 hours.

    In Workington, Northside Bridge - the main bridge on the A597 into the town - collapsed, as did Lorton Bridge near Cockermouth and Southwaite footbridge in the town.

    Mr Brown said: "Our thanks go out to the emergency services who continue in their extraordinary efforts to help the people affected."

    Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, who is travelling to the town, said the situation was "very serious".

    He told the BBC: "We have seen extraordinary amounts of rainfall."

    He said the rainfall figures "could make it the wettest day ever recorded". He added: "We've seen the impact of that with the terrible flooding which has affected people."

    Flooding was also reported in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, where 30 roads closed in "treacherous" conditions.

    In mid- and north Wales, roads were closed and train services disrupted, and a brief power cut in Anglesey affected 2,000 homes.

    The Environment Agency has in place four severe flood warnings - all in Cumbria - 27 flood warnings in the Midlands, Wales and north-east and north-west England and 54 less serious flood watches.

    The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) reported six severe flood warnings, 10 flood warnings and 15 flood watches in force.

    RAF Squadron Leader Dave Webster said more than 50 people had been rescued by helicopter, while about 150 more had been helped to safety by the RNLI and other emergency crews.

    John Carlin, owner of the Allerdale Court Hotel, said the amount of rainfall was "staggering".

    "I have lived here for 15 years and have never seen anything like it," he said.

    "It's desperate. The town centre is completely flooded, the only people out there at the moment are the emergency services. The water is up to the waists of the firefighters."

    About 1,200 homes in the Cockermouth area and 349 around Keswick lost power on Thursday night, although United Utilities said later that services had been restored to 660 properties.

    Some 20 schools in the area were earlier forced to close and several were turned into emergency shelters for more than 200 Cockermouth evacuees.

    Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith said: "This is an extremely serious incident - our thoughts are with those people whose homes have been flooded."

    There are currently four severe flood warnings in Cumbria, in Cockermouth, Keswick, Southwaite Bridge and Eamont Bridge.

    The Environment Agency describes a severe flood warning as a threat of "extreme danger to life and property".

    Sepa has nine severe flood warnings in place in Scotland, covering three sections of the River Tweed, two sections of the River Earn, Yarrow Water, Teviot Water, the River Isla in Perthshire and the River Teith at Callander.

    A landslip between Carlisle and Penrith caused the West Coast Main Line from London to Glasgow to close - but it has since re-opened.

    Drivers are being warned of "treacherous" conditions in much of Dumfries and Galloway and fire crews have been called to rescue a number of stranded motorists.

    In mid and north Wales, there have also been road closures, disruption to train services and a brief power cut affecting 2,000 homes in Anglesey.

    The AA said it was "flat out" rescuing stricken cars and advised against all but essential travel.

    Richard Westmoreland, the motoring organisation's water rescue technician, said: "Conditions in Cumbria have been horrendous - the worst I've seen."

    During a 24-hour period Shap and Keswick in Cumbria recorded rainfall of 71.6mm (2.8in) and 64.2mm (2.5in) respectively.

    The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings, with up to 250mm (9.8in) of rain possible on higher ground.

    The flooding in Cumbria is the latest in a series of severe flooding events to hit the UK in recent years.

    More than 1,000 houses and businesses in Carlisle, Cumbria, were overwhelmed by water in January 2005, when the city suffered its worst floods since the 1820s.

    In June and July, 2007, torrential rain lashed the country, flooding Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Wales, the Midlands and the West Country. Among the worst-hit towns were Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire and Upton upon Severn in Worcestershire.

    BBC News - Policeman missing as bridge collapses in Cumbria floods
    "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" Edmund Burke.
    "the world is a dangerous place place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do not do anything about it" Albert Einstein

  2. #2
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    Doesn't sound too good
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    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
    ~Edmond Burke

    Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it, never really care for anything else.
    ~Ernest Hemingway

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  3. #3
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    Very sad.




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    Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr

  5. #5
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    BBC News - Body found in Cumbria flood is missing Pc, say police

    Body found in Cumbria flood is missing Pc, say police
    "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" Edmund Burke.
    "the world is a dangerous place place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do not do anything about it" Albert Einstein

 

 

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