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Storm Desmond hits UK, floods destroyed thousands of homes, new rain expected

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Staff writer ▼ | December 6, 2015
Cumbria
Floods   UK military and satellites are helping the region under water

Storm Desmond devastated parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland with flooding rain and damaging winds over the weekend, and in some parts of the country one day saw more rain than in the whole month.

The heavy rain caused landslides and flooding which forced numerous road closures on Saturday. One of the hardest-hit areas was Cumbria.

The military have already established an operations center helping to coordinate the response and they have 350 personnel in the region and equipment available to ensure help gets to the communities most in need as quickly as possible. This includes a Chinook helicopter deployed and on standby to assist.

Satellites have also been tasked to cover the flooded areas to five responders the best possible picture of what is happening on the ground.

The highest recorded rainfall in Cumbria was 262.6 mm (10.3 inches), and many other areas across northern Wales and England was in excess of 100mm (4 inches) of rain during this time.

Over the past 48 hours, Environment Agency rain gauges have recorded widespread totals of more than 200mm across Cumbria. Provisional figures from a rain gauge in Honister in Cumbria show that 341mm rain fell in 24 hours (18:30 Friday- 18.30 Saturday).

If verified, this will be a UK record for 24 hours. This is more than a month’s worth of rainfall in a day.

The combined effects of flooding and high winds also caused numerous power cuts throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. Electricity North West reported nearly 60,000 properties with power cuts early Sunday morning.

Widespread peak wind gusts of 60-80 mph (95-130 km/h) were reported throughout the day on Saturday. Winds gradually diminished early on Sunday morning. The Met Office reported the highest wind gust occurred at Great Dun Fell where wind gusted to 99 mph (159 km/h)

Another deep low pressure system will come on Wednesday, bringing more rain and wind across the region.


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