The flood in Workington, 19th-20th November 2009

Location : Workington
Ordnance Survey – NY 001286
 
On thursday 19th November, the rivers Cocker and Derwent, which join in Cockermouth, rose to a level that flooded much of central Cockermouth, leaving most of the shops, and businesses in the town completely wrecked.
 

The Northside bridge - washed away by the flood early on friday 20th November.

The Northside bridge – washed away by the flood early on friday 20th November.

The effect of this water rushing towards Workington destroyed the Northside road bridge, destroyed the Navvies footbridge, and damaged the Calva road bridge, thus making all links across the river impassable apart from the railway.
 
The Calva Bridge was closed after the main deck sank about a foot and a large crack appeared in the central arch over the River Derwent.
 
It is about half a mile upstream from the Northside Bridge, where PC Bill Barker was swept to his death as it collapsed early on Friday 20th November. A smaller foot bridge in between the two, known locally as the Navvies Bridge, has also collapsed.
 
The destroyed Navvies footbridge

The destroyed Navvies footbridge

The bridge at Camerton that carried the track to Camerton church over the disused railway, about 200-300 yards from the river, destroyed by flood water from the nearby River Derwent. The floods were such that the river flooded the flood plain and created another river on the old railway line area! This has now cut off access to Camerton church.
 
The damaged Camerton bridge is some distance from the River Derwent.

The damaged Camerton bridge is some distance from the River Derwent.

A rain gauge at Seathwaite Farm, about 15 miles south-east of Cockermouth, reported the greatest day of British rainfall since records began more than 200 years ago, a total of 316.4mm (12.5in). To give an idea of scale, that is almost half Cumbria’s monthly rainfall record, which has stood since 1852.
 
A temporary footbridge was built by the Army, and a temporary railway station built north of the river, with a free railway shuttle service between Workington and Maryport.
 
Until mid march the only way by road was a detour via Cockermouth and Maryport – some 25 miles, which many people were having to do every day. To avoid motorists taking short cuts through Little Broughton, that river bridge was also closed. In mid march the Little Broughton bridge was open to traffic in one direction only.
 
In February work started on a temporary road bridge at Workington. It opened in April, 5 months after the flood.
 
Aerial photos by Simon Ledingham. Other photos by Malcolm Minshaw.
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