One person has been found dead and 45,000 properties are without electricity following the flooding that has hit north-west England. Written by Helen Pidd ‘North of England’ for The Guardian.

45,000 homes remain without power

Police said that a body had been found in the water in the river Kent near Kendal after Storm Desmond hit Cumbria. The environment minister, Liz Truss, told MPs that there had been a number of fatalities.

His body was recovered at about 10am on Monday morning by emergency services personnel in Cumbria, who had spent much of Sunday searching for him.

It was the first death following the flooding and the second connected to the storm. In London, a 90-year-old man was believed to have been blown into the side of a moving bus by a gust of wind, near Finchley Central tube station on Saturday. About 42,000 households in Lancaster, Morecambe and Carnforth in north Lancashire found themselves again with no power on Monday evening, a failure that came hours after Electricity North West said it had restored power in the region. The firm said the power cut was caused by “unforseen damage”.

In Lancaster, 19,000 households were still being supplied by generators that were mobilised overnight. Electricity North West said it was calling for extra generators and engineers from across the country to help restore power. Cumbria police estimated that a total of 4,881 homes were flooded across the county, saying that in the “reasonable worst-case scenario” there could be a total of 6,455 homes affected. Thousands of people remained homeless. On Monday night, 16 severe flood warnings, 58 warnings and 30 alerts remained in force in England and Wales, relating to the rivers Eden, Greta, Caldew and Wyre. In Scotland, 11 flood warnings remained in place.

Following a huge clean-up effort, just eight schools in Cumbria were set to remain closed for a further day on Tuesday. Train services were restored north of Preston, but major disruption continued in northern England, with services operated by the Caledonian Sleeper, TransPennine Express, Northern Rail and Virgin affected.

Giving a statement to MPs in the House of Commons on Monday, Truss said temporary defences and pumps were moved to north-west England, with 200 military personnel mobilised and a Chinook helicopter made available as part of the emergency response on Saturday.

On Monday night, Cumbria council said it had major concernabout the county’s bridges, two of which – Pooley Bridge on Ullswater and Keswick Railway Path Bridge – had collapsed. Inspectors were trying to assess 130 other bridges in need of immediate inspection, the council said.

Source: The Guardian