Flooding in Kendal

Andy and I have been in up in the Lake District to visit his family over the Christmas period.

Prior to our arrival this year, his home town, Kendal was affected by the terrible flooding that hit the North West in December as a result of Storm Desmond.

The Kent in Kendal is a pretty dangerous river at the best of times due to the speed at which it flows. It is fairly low down so to try and imagine how it rose nearly 8ft in a day is mind boggling.

Whilst here we have been out running and passed through a number of the worst hit communities. Seeing people's possessions piled into skips outside houses, business destroyed and walls washed away is very sobering and sad.

We have heard tales of those who have been forced out of their homes for the next year until their houses can be made structurally sound again. We have seen other houses propped up as supporting walls have been swept away with the sheer force of the water.

But we have also heard about the community spirit - the fundraising event at the local leisure centre, the collections at various different places, a once white elephant in the town providing much needed housing for those who have been driven from their homes.

I saw photos the other day of floods in my local neighbourhood, Rotherhithe, from the 1950's. I forget how lucky we are in London to be protected by the Thames Barrier in the event of a flooding (although not sure how places east of the barrier would fare in the event of increased water levels).

As I sit here typing whilst the rain falls yet again, I cannot help but feel weather events such as those that caused the floods are likely to become more frequent. Hopefully more will be done now to ensure future flooding doesn't happen and that homes will be built in sensible places rather than areas prone to flooding (on the way to Oxenholme Station they are building some new homes. The field in which construction is only just starting is currently a new lake for the area).

For now, I hope for a speed return for people to their homes and for insurance companies to do what they need to do and not to later penalise people for something they have absolutely no control over.

The River Kent - the force of the water has brought rocks downstream and deposited them creating a large island in the centre of town which pushes the water levels up during high tide.

A footbridge in town closed due to the floods. Large tree trunks have struck the bridge when the river was flowing higher damaging the bridge

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