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Carlisle flood meetings called

Carlisle under flood water Photo: ITV Border

Carlisle's flood victims are being invited to attend public events next week to give their views on a report into flooding in the city.

The two Flood Forums take place on 9 and 11 May. They've been organised by Cumbria County Council and the Environment Agency and are the second stage of a process that started in March with two events where people were asked to provide information about how and when their properties had flooded.

Alongside data already held, the property level information gathered at those events has now been collated into a draft report which provides a picture of what happened on the 5 and 6 of December 2015 and why it happened.

The report includes possible future options to help prevent flooding, including:

  • Reviewing the potential to improve flood defences around Botcherby Bridge
  • Reducing the obstruction caused by bridges
  • Looking at the case for flood defences in Rickerby village
  • Extending defences at Viaduct Road Estate to prevent flooding from the railway line
  • Reviewing the defences at Etterby Terrace to mitigate flooding from Gosling Syke
  • Reviewing the resilience of the two Environment Agency pumping stations
Carlisle's Warwick Road after Storm Desmond Credit: Press Association

At the two Flood Forum events local people will be able share their views on the draft report and future options with officials from the county council and the Environment Agency.

Once the final Flood Investigation Report is agreed they can be used by communities and agencies to inform, and contribute to, longer term plans for flood risk management in Cumbria.

“It’s been a significant task by all agencies involved to pull together the information that forms the basis of this report and I’d like to thank local people who’ve taken the time to share their experiences and insights. That local knowledge is so important.

"The description of how Carlisle flooded has clearly highlighted different areas that could be the focus of future flood defence work, but we need to hear local people’s views before we can move forward and agree a final report. I hope people will be able to attend the meetings and share their views, people can also comment online if they are unable to attend.”

– Doug Coyle, Local Flood Resilience Manager for Cumbria County Council

“It’s really important we understand the exact cause and extent of December’s floods so we can identify the most effective measures to reduce local flood risk.

”The local knowledge people have already provided has helped us pinpoint exactly which properties flooded, and where they think the water came from. These meetings provide an opportunity to review our findings so people can identify gaps and confirm our current thinking.

“Once finalised, the reports will inform future plans and help us make Carlisle more resilient to flooding.

“Similar meetings will be held across Cumbria and, although the reports focus on one community at a time, the information they contain will be combined with the findings of Flood Minister Rory Stewart’s Cumbria Flood Partnership 25 Year Action Plan to provide a county-wide picture of flood risk and actions.

“This will enable us to take a ‘whole catchment’ approach to flood risk management. By considering a wide range of options, from land management and flood storage upstream, to downstream flood defences and channel maintenance we can work together to make communities across the whole length of a river more resilient.”

– Kath Tanner, the Environment Agency’s Flood Recovery Manager

The draft Flood Investigation Report is now published at http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/floods2015/floodforums.asp. Comments on the report can be emailed to LFRM@cumbria.gov.uk or sent in writing to Local Flood Resilience Manager, Environment and Community Services, Parkhouse Building, Carlisle, Baron Way, CA6 4SJ.

The Flood Forum on 9 May takes place at the Holy Trinity Church on Wigton Road and on 11 May the venue is the University of Cumbria's Fusehill Street campus. Both events start at 5pm.