One year on from the devastating floods that affected Cumbria, the estimated total cost of the repairs is thought to be in the region of £275m.
Cumbria County Council released figures which show that £34 m has been spent on the county’s transport network, £91m has been spent on residential properties and £124m has been spent on damage to commercial and business properties and infrastructure.
Insurance has paid for many of the costs, but charity has also picked up some of the tab. Cumbria County Council leader Councillor Eddie Martin stated:
“The Cumbrian spirit has triumphed and I believe the county has successfully bounced back from its biggest natural disaster in recent memory. It has not been easy, it’s taken a gargantuan effort to rebuild communities, restore services and repair most of the wreckage wrought.
“A small number are still waiting to return to their homes or are lamenting the loss of a business which never got back on its feet.
“The floods brought an immense amount of damage – both physical and emotional – but everyone who has seen the way communities have responded has been impressed and humbled by the strength of spirit here.
“There is still work to be done – a few bridges still need to be built and repaired and we need to consider the best ways to protect communities in the future from similar disasters. But Team Cumbria can be justifiably proud of all it has achieved in the last year.”
United Utilities had a huge undertaking of coping with bridges collapsing, surface water being unable to drain and sewers overflowing. Their spokesperson Polly Rourke stated:
“Our staff went above and beyond the call of duty and worked around the clock with the emergency services and other authorities to restore services.
“Many of the staff involved live as well as work in the communities affected by the terrible flooding and were personally affected by what happened. In terms of our water and wastewater services, they held up remarkably well.
“A footbridge at Backbarrow next to a sewer pipe was severely damaged by the storms and collapsed, threatening to take the pipe with it. United Utilities, alongside other agencies, removed the bridge to prevent further damage to the pipe.”