In December 2015, the UK was plunged into chaos as Storm Desmond brought heavy rain, gale force winds and flooding to large swathes of the country. Cumbria was one of the worst affected areas, with homes and business evacuated as the police declared the flooding a major incident.
Among those business to be affected by the flooding was Capstick Carpets in Appleby-in-Westmorland. With the shop being situated directly opposite the River Eden, owners Marion and Patrick are no strangers to flooding.
“We had a warning from the Environment Agency on Friday that we could flood the following day. The river Eden, which is right opposite our shop was well down and it hardly seemed possible. We moved our vehicles to high ground as we had lost two cars to the river 10 years ago [major flood in 2005], we lifted our stock and equipment up as best we could and put up our floodgates in preparation.”
“Overwhelming and So Fast”
When Marion and her husband Patrick woke up the next day, they had no real concerns about the river level. However, she told us how quickly that changed:
“On Saturday morning [5th December 2015], around 7am, my husband checked the river. It had risen, but still seemed okay. We are used to the river level fluctuating, but by 8:30am the river burst its banks and water was coming into our shop. It was overwhelming and so fast. At its height, we had 650mm (25 1/2”) in the office.”