Monday, 23 November 2009

Can you all please cross your fingers for tomorrow


The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings again and they say the floods might return. Let us all hope that they do not. It cannot be as bad as last time because they are predicting less rainfall but any prolonged heavy rain is going to hamper the clearing up operations in Cockermouth and elsewhere. 

The information you receive on the news is not all accurate either because they leave out some of the detail of the destruction and problems on the roads.  For instance on one official government site it does not say that the bridges in Keswick are all still closed, but they are. I went to check today and they are covered in white tape with blue lettering saying Police; so clearly they are not to be crossed. Would you believe it if I said an elderly lady pushed her way through the temporary fencing across the footpath of the bridge and crossed.

I don't suppose she will be the only one but it does go to show that people will always take risks and also risk the lives of others if it all goes pear shaped. Selfish behaviour luckily does not seem to have been on locals' minds in Cockermouth where the whole community has been pulled together by this disaster. I saw a Keswick couple on the internet news in a reception centre in Cockermouth who used to have a local guest house but sold up to retire to a larger bungalow in Cockermouth. Well it was down by the river.......They were keeping cheerful too except he was worried about his MG cars.

A friend who has a guest house said to me today that one foreign guest asked to have an early morning call, when she asked why he said he was going up Scafell Pike with someone from Cockermouth. She said the road is closed up Borrowdale and he did not believe her at first. Well he was finally pursued when she rang his Cockermouth acquaintance and he confirmed his house was flooded and he was going nowhere.

These are just some of the crazy things which are happening. Another couple from the guest house, who were experienced walkers were going to go up Skiddaw. This is despite knowing that no rescue services are available as far as I am aware, but maybe I am wrong. Does anyone know if the Mountain Rescue are back at base and ready to go up the mountains in all these gales and torrential rain to rescue people again? I just checked their website and it only says that their last rescue was 7th November. I would have thought it was more like 19th, 20th and 21st.

The good news is that the main supermarket in Keswick is open again, albeit with no frozen food or anything much in the chiller cabinets as it was all thrown out. Also I hear that the buses are starting to run again on a restricted service but I don't know which ones yet. All the dogs which were left upstairs on their own in Cockermouth whilst their owners were rescued were rounded up and saved by the RSPCA too, so well done all those who helped our canine friends. Bella is suitably impressed.

10 comments:

kira said...

I've just checked your weather forecast too, Lyn. My goodness, it is for heavy rainfall until Friday, with the most of it expected today in the afternoon and evening. Fingers crossed, fingers crossed and fingers crossed again that the floods will not come back again! Booths reopened, you say? So, is it possible to reach the supermarket? Are the roads in a condition that it is possible to walk or drive? Hope Park looks awful, and it will not be Hope Park alone. Oh dear, it's so close to my favourite accommodtion, I don't even dare to imagine how it might look like now. Just one month ago I've taken the same picture in Hope Park, which was dry and in beautiful autumn colours at that time. I can't really believe what is happening now. Well, honestly, somehow I can understand the elderly woman crossing the bridge. I have to admit, if there would have been no other possibility and I would have thought it to be safe, I might have tried it too, despite the closure. But going up the fells under these conditions? That's stupid. I'm sure that, if someone in need would call the Mountain Rescue, they would try to help. But, as you say, I don't think they do need any extra work in these days. Fingers crossed again, especially for today. You know that I'm always with Cumbria in the internet. Imagine, if it would have worked with the job, I would stay in Keswick now, it would be my home as well. It's just an accident that I'm still here in Germany. Should Keswick need volunteers when I'll be there next, of course, I'm prepared to do what I can do.

BilboWaggins said...

Lyn
You are right - there is still a great deal of misinformation. A rumour cirulated locally that Sainsbury's & Aldi in Cockermouth were closed and as a result I drove further than I care to admit yesterday to get our groceries.

TELL PEOPLE THESE SHOPS ARE OPEN!

As are two chemists, a newsagent and a toy shop which have set up in the old Job Centre office opposite the Co-op.


People can still come to Cumbria and not fellwalk. If they get the idea they ought to stay away then the whole region will suffer even more from the loss of visitor revenues. This happened aftger F&M and will be more devastating than the flood itself if rumours are allowed to get out of control.

Lyn Armstrong said...

Yes the resilience of the locals is shining through the gloom today. The shops are fighting back and the weather has not been as harsh at all so far here where I live. I think many people are volunteering to help with the mess kira, Pete wants to go and help clear up Fitzpark with his tennis friends and when they saw me drop off my cheque for the Rotary Appeal they said they would donate some money too. We just need to keep spreading the message that we need people to support Cumbria, but not to go on the fells just yet until we have time to recover.

BilboWaggins said...

Lyn,
I have registered with www.cateam.org.uk which is the Cockermouth Area Team for local churches - and they don't care if you're not religious or do not regularly attend church!

I might find myself serving food to emergency workers/ contractors, I might find myself helping clean a home or shop - I don't care, I need to do something. Hope they will call soon and tell me when to turn up.

kira said...

I'm far away, so I can't help other than with donations at the moment. If I could come over, I would help where ever I could and do whatever is necessary. In March I will not ask for walks, Lyn, but where to volunteer. I'm glad your weather seems to be not as horrible as your today's forecast. Fingers still crossed!

Tess said...

One of my colleagues lives in Cockermouth, she had some stories to tell us when she got into work yesterday! She had the Sea King helicopters flying above her house, and apparently it's quite a sight watching them winching people. Luckily her house stayed dry, but she helped the local rescue teams by providing hot drinks.
Of course we'll keep our fingers crossed for everyone. It's so unfair that the rain won't leave us alone - take heed Mother Nature! Give us a chance to dry out and inspect the infrastructure.
As for those pillocks who wish to put themselves in danger - you lot are a bunch of ..... (say no more).
Sorry Kira, but at the end of the day, I've needed to get around the town, and it's involved a bit of a long diversion as there's no way in hell I'd use a closed bridge. It's a stupid thing to do!
I've passed the message to various friends around the country, and a lot of them have pledged support to help the unfortunate folks in Cumbria. And, if I get the opportunity to help clean this lovely town up, I will.

Lyn Armstrong said...

Thanks for your support Tess

kira said...

You are right, Tess. I apologize for what I've said yesterday. I see that I underestimated the danger of crossing a closed bridge in Keswick by far. The reason might be that it quite often happens here that paths are already closed in advance (no danger, no construction works so far, just planned something like to lay new wipes in the near future), and of course everybody passes the barriers as long as there is nothing. I think that was somehow in my mind when I wrote the stupid sentence. Sorry for that.

kira said...

It's too early, really. My wipes are pipes, of course!

Tess said...

Sorry if I sounded snappy Kira, didn't mean it (liked the bit about 'wipes' instead of 'pipes' though!!)