HE deploy high-volume pump to help with flood relief in Cumbria

Highways England helped emergency services to clear water in Carlisle after the region was hit by devastating floods.

A high-volume pump was deployed to help assist the flood relief effort and was one of the first on the scene in the North West following an initial request from the government’s National Resilience team on Saturday (December 5) when Storm Desmond hit northern England.

It was deployed to Warwick Road in Carlisle, following a request from the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, where contractors working on behalf of Highways England cleared more than one million litres of water from the area – the equivalent of an Olympic size swimming pool.

The team cleared 3,000 litres of water per minute for around seven hours in challenging weather conditions and darkness after a power failure in the area due to the storm.

After clearing the road of water by pumping it into the nearby River Petteril, the team stayed on site to clear gulleys and drainage systems of excess water before leaving the scene yesterday (9 December).

Andrew Charnick, emergency planning officer for Highways England in the North, said: “I am immensely proud that Highways England was able to assist with the flood relief effort in Cumbria. Over the past few days our team has worked around the clock with other agencies and in very challenging conditions to clear the area of flood water.”

Highways England is the only authority apart from the fire service to own a high volume pump of this type. Located at Bradbury in Yorkshire, the pump has to be operated by a specially trained team. It can be set up in less than an hour to clear thousands of litres of water from flooded areas and can be deployed by Highways England anywhere in the UK in the event of severe flooding.

The A69 near Carlisle reopened on Tuesday (8 December) following flooding at Warwick Bridge.

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