Thousands of homes in northwestern England were left without electricity after severe flooding caused by Storm Desmond led to massive power outages across the region.
Over the weekend, Storm Desmond caused record levels of rainfall in northern England and Scotland. Areas in Cumbria and Lancashire counties were affected massively; as many as 43,000 homes were impacted by power cuts and an estimated 5,200 others were flooded, as reported by BBC. Two people, one in Cumbria and the other in the Republic of Ireland, died as a result of the severe weather.
Chairing a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency response committee, Prime Minister David Cameron said a full reimbursement for the costs associated with the flooding will be given to the councils. Cameron further said the priority was to find alternative accommodation for those driven out of their homes because of the flooding. “After every flood, the thing to do is sit down, look at the money you’re spending, look at what you’re building, look at what you’re planning to build in the future and ask, is it enough?” he said.
As of Monday morning, 2,957 homes remained without power, power company Electricity North West said. Mark Williamson, operations director for the company, said, “We want to reassure our customers in Lancaster and Cumbria that we are doing everything we possibly can to access our substations, assess the damage caused by severe flooding, and restore supplies.”
Cumbria police said reception centers have been opened as shelters for people flooded out of their homes. CNN reports that as many as 46 severe flood warnings, indicating risk to life, have been issued in England and Wales.
The government received criticism for not doing enough by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “Last year, the prime minister promised that ‘money is no object’ in dealing with flooding, itself a consequence of the destruction of our environment,” Corbyn said. “But this has proved to be yet another false promise. In the last parliament, the government slashed spending on flood defences before the 2014 winter floods.”