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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Webchat: Environment Agency on flooding

It was one of the wettest summers on record. Torrential downpours hit Cumbria like never before, causing sudden flash floods that engulfed homes, businesses, roads and railway lines.

The type of flooding was different to that experienced in Carlisle in 2005 and west Cumbria in 2009. Instead of water levels building over a number of days and rivers eventually bursting their banks, a new pattern emerged.

This time heavy, localised storms put urgent pressure on rivers, streams, becks and drains. The impact was felt quickly and as a result many were unprepared. Water levels rose by the minute, wreaking havoc and leaving communities to count the cost.

This new trend has prompted action from the Environment Agency. It has carried out a detailed survey of flash flooding risks across the north west and found the vast majority – double the number in the rest of the region – are in Cumbria.

More than 60 communities across the county – over half in the north and west – are now facing a real threat of this type of flooding. They include areas in and around Cockermouth, Keswick, Egremont, Cleator Moor, Penrith and Carlisle.

Now you have the chance to put the experts on the spot.

We're hosting a live webchat between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesday, November 13 with key members of the Environment Agency.

They'll be able to answer your questions and queries and will tell what you can do to stay safe should flooding occur again.

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