Have we not been here before ? Memories from over a decade surface once more as many areas of Carlisle flood.
For more than a week rain has batted the Cumbrian fells and has now overwhelmed the flood barriers built to protect the city after it flooded in 2005.
People stand in disbelief along the waters edge in Caldewgate to the west of the City. Stunned, silent and passive that history has repeated itself.
Willowholme electricity station
Hidden behind trees from our vantage point overlooking the Willowholme Industrial area water can clearly be made out lapping around the pylons and machinery of the electricity substation.
Despite the risks of failure, the power has so far remained on to many areas. Overnight breaks in supply did happen but normality was restored in time for breakfast. Well done to the electricity people who appear to have learned lessons from the Carlisle City floods: 10 years on.
Nearby the Waverley Bridge is a great reference point to show how high the River Eden has become following weeks of rain.
The Environment Agency Sheepmount monitoring station measuring station previously recorded the highest river level recorded at this location as 7.23 metres on Saturday 8th January 2005 at 2:30pm.
Currently, 12:30 on 06/12/2015, the river level at Sheepmount is 7.48 metres. More than 20cm higher or about 8 inches.
100 year flood every 10 years?
Back in 2005 One estimate put the resulting damage to property and infrastructure in Carlisle at £400m.
Following millions of pounds of flood defence works, massive building and restoration projects and the belief that this could not happen twice, the City and the rest of Cumbria is going to take a very long time to recover.
Many questions have been raised as a result of the last 24 hours.
- Will key factories and businesses close or move out of the City?
- Will the City face massive disruption as flood defences are torn down and rebuilt higher?
- Will families be able to get insurance against flooding in the City?
- Will history repeat itself for a third time?
One thing for certain, is the City of Carlisle is not going to be the same again.
Until next time our thoughts are with those colleagues displaced or in need of help wherever you are in the county.
Licks and wags
Charlie and Rufus