Thousands of people have been flooded out of their homes or left without power after Storm Desmond wreaked havoc in parts of the UK.
In Cumbria and Lancashire more than 43,000 homes are suffering from power cuts, while an estimated 5,200 homes have been affected by flooding.
The weather has claimed two lives – in Cumbria and the Republic of Ireland.
David Cameron said the flood defences in Cumbria “were not enough” and some people might not be home for Christmas.
Storm Desmond lashed parts of Northern Ireland, north Wales, southern Scotland and especially north-west England over the weekend, and more heavy rain is expected this week.
Record-breaking amounts of rain fell in Cumbria, the worst-hit county – prompting the county to declare a major incident.
The devastation has resulted in criticism of the government after multimillion-pound defences built following floods in Cumbria in 2005 failed to keep the deluge out from people’s homes.
During a visit to Carlisle, the prime minister said the flooding was “absolutely horrific” and he promised to re-examine Cumbria’s flood defence plans.
In Cumbria, police said a man’s body had been recovered from a river.
And the body of a 70-year-old man from County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland, was found on a cross-border road in County Monaghan. It is understood his car got stuck in flooding and he was swept away when he got out of this car.
In other developments:
- Electricity North West said power had been restored to 1,200 customers in Cumbria, but more than 1,450 remain without, mostly in Carlisle
- Power was lost on Monday afternoon at 42,000 properties across Lancaster, Morecambe, Heysham and Carnforth, the company said
- On Monday night, the energy firm said 19,000 out of the 42,000 customers are still being supplied by generators that were mobilised on Sunday night, and plans are in place to begin restoring supply from 08:00 GMT on Tuesday 8 December
- More than 150 severe flood warnings – indicating danger to life – remain in place mostly in northern England
- About 40 schools closed in Cumbria, but the majority will reopen on Tuesday. Lancaster University has cancelled teaching for the rest of term after losing power across much of the campus
- Five rescue centres are open across Cumbria for those forced to leave their homes
- Cumbria Police say “high-visibility” and round-the clock patrols are taking place of flooded properties
- Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has said it will only be running essential services
- Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle is being powered by a back-up generator
- In Scotland more than 20 flood warnings and alerts are in place with some main roads closed owing to flooding
- There are no trains running between England and Scotland via Preston, and roads have closed in the worst-affected areas
- In Northern Ireland, major clean-up operations are under way in parts of counties Tyrone and Fermanagh
- The Association of British Insurers said the industry was “mobilising a small army” of claims managers and others to help those affected by the flooding
Mr Cameron, who chaired a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency response committee on Monday morning, said the government would fully reimburse councils for the costs of dealing with flooding.
The immediate response had to be to find alternative accommodation for those who had been flooded out of their homes, and help with their insurance claims, he said.
“After every flood, the thing to do is sit down, look at the money you’re spending, look at what you’re building, look at what you’re planning to build in the future and ask, is it enough?” he said.Tags: cumbria, flooding, heavy rain, homes, northern ireland, Storm Desmond