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Storm Desmond batters Lake District and northwest UK

desmondDamage and flooding wreaked by Storm Desmond over the weekend has left thousands of homes in the UK without power or under water. Meteorologists say the storm brought 340-millimetres of rain as it swept across the northwest regions of the country over the weekend.

Late yesterday 50 severe flood warnings were still in place across northern England. This warning level means that the floods could endanger lives. There were also 30 less-critical flood warnings in this region plus another 40 in western Scotland remaining too.

About 700 houses in Wales were left without power on Saturday. Authorities said supplies had mostly been restored by last night and only 70 still had no power. Floodwaters inundated a Lancaster electricity station and wiped out power for 55,000 households.

Officials here said emergency generators had reconnected some of the houses back to the grid yesterday evening. This morning, a spokesperson for the local electricity board said it hoped to restore power to the rest of the affected homes by this evening. 

The Army was called in and helped with the evacuation of residents from flooded homes in Cumbria. Emergency services brought in boats to float householders to temporary disaster shelters. In Carlisle, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution assisted with moving 200 residents from flooded homes. In Hawick, 600 people were evacuated from their homes.

The cabinet’s Cobra contingencies committee is due to meet today to coordinate government action to deal with the aftermath of Storm Desmond. Prime-minister David Cameron said he would like to thank rescue workers and soldiers for their unflagging efforts over the weekend. He noted that residents of local communities had played their part as well by actions such as giving shelter to people whose homes had been rendered uninhabitable.

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