Storm Desmond brings chaos to parts of UK as 150 are evacuated from caravan park

Storm Desmond as taken its grip of the UK

by Joe Jeffrey

Scores of caravanners evacuated from caravan park as Storm Desmond brings havoc across North West England and further afield

Coastguard crews were instrumental in mounting an impressive rescue operation at a caravan park in Cumbria on Saturday evening, as the effects of Storm Desmond continued to take grip, bringing high speed winds, flooding and severe disruption across many parts of the UK.

Cumbria police have highlighted the operation as one of many impressive efforts displayed by emergency services, which saw a weekend of dramatic rescues in an attempt to bring people to safety as flood waters became dangerously high.

The caravanners, situated at Eamont Bridge, near Penrith, were taken to a higher vantage point as flood waters took hold and the highest level of alert was put into place in what was declared by police as a “major incident”.

Scores of severe flood warnings are currently in place in England, whilst two more have since been issued in south-west Scotland.

Meanwhile, rescue centres have been set up across northern parts of the country, whilst sandbags have been handed out to many homeowners in affected areas and a call for volunteer doctors has been issued. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) flood rescue team has also been deployed to ensure people’s safety in some areas.

The Met Office’s highest red warning has been issued for Cumbria and south-west Scotland, with some areas recording 341mm of rain falling in just 24 hours – thought to be the highest recorded rainfall in England since records began.

Elsewhere, gusts of up to 85mph were recorded in Wales and approximately 40,000 homes across the UK are said to have been left with no power. Electricity is said to have been restored to some, however around 7,000 still remain with no power and repair work could take days.

The devastation comes following flood defences in the north-west being upgraded in 2010 to withstand a “once in 100 years” flood. These defences were subsequently breached over the weekend as Storm Desmond unleashed a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours.

Prime Minister David Cameron has since chaired an emergency COBRA meeting and is set to visit the most affected areas in Cumbria later today.

Cameron said: “The thoughts of the whole country will be with the people in Cumbria and the North West who have suffered so terribly from the devastating storms this weekend.”

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