I originally started this post a few weeks ago titled "Rain" and it evolved into "Cumbrian Rain". I had started to talk about how the rain down here was like nothing else I'd ever came across and the storming that Cumbria experienced was beyond anything I'd experienced in the UK.
Then what will be known as the 2015 Floods happened.
On Thursday evening I left work early to head into Whitehaven for a meeting at the in-town offices. The rain was astonishing, and it soaked me almost entirely on a simple short walk from Aldi's car park to the offices, about 300m or so. On the way out I was soaked again, this time worse than before. On my drive out of Whitehaven I noticed that the drains were being unable to cope with the water. This was the first strands of Storm Desmond, before he really became a total bastard.
Friday was fine, and Connie even took the dog and Joni out for a walk that afternoon. But by the evening the world had turned again, and our road was flooded at both ends quite badly. This was a novelty, of course, and Frank couldn't believe his luck. He went for a quick swim in a large deep pool of flood water, before running back to me essentially saying "Holy shit dude, did you see that?"
But this frivolity was marred by the news on Saturday of Appleby flooding, then Keswick, and then Cockermouth. We live on the outside of Cockermouth in a town called Broughton Cross (town might be a stretch mind you) and we are protected by a hill than runs away from us and the A66 which acts as a raised flood barrier. The otherside of the road was far less lucky. Remember back in August when I boasted at how lovely the area was? This photo in particular? Well that river burst its banks and that whole area ended up under around 10 to 15 feet of water.
The idea that Cockermouth could have ever flooded like that was astounding, and then on Saturday to actually see it happen, it was beyond comprehension.
It hurts to see the county utterly bombarded with rain and flooding again. People talked in hushed tones of the 2009 floods, and here we are living right in the middle of the sequel. Going into town on Sunday evening showed me that it is just so hard to realise just how much water there is still there, 24 hours later, and how many businesses that we've loved and been into that have been damaged, hopefully not beyond repair, like the toy shop, the Greggs, the fudge shop... even our letting agents.
But, hopefully like the last time, the town will bounce back. We will be there, again, as soon as the places open, to show our support. You can donate to the relief fund by clicking here.