A History to Flooding – The River Derwent



Only short periods of gauged record, generally less than 30 years, are available to assess the flood discharge that might be expected with a return period of 100 years. There is a requirement therefore for extrapolation of a flood frequency curve well beyond the limits of the record duration. However there is no a priori basis for judging which is the best flood frequency distribution or fitting method to use. In most instances but especially when there are outliers in the observed data set, extrapolation using different distributions can lead to widely different estimates. There is no means of judging from the data which of these estimated discharges (and the associated levels on the flood plain) is most likely to be correct and the usual solution is take a mean discharge from a range of different distributions and fitting methods.

Some confirmation to the slope and shape of the flood frequency distribution is provided by making comparisons of flood frequency at several stations within and on adjacent catchments, thus effectively adding to the number of station years of record. However, there is a degree of dependence between the floods experienced on adjacent catchments and, even when considered regionally, the flood record sample may not give a good indication of the distribution of the flood population and in particular for long return periods.

Examination of historical information provides an alternative means of assessing high return period flood discharges and levels. It has the disadvantage that the information is rarely as precise as for the gauged record especially in the assessment of discharge from a reported level. Nevertheless, there are instances where the control at a point on a river has remained with little change over a period of centuries e.g. at a bridge crossing or a mill weir. Some natural sections have also changed little. At these points it may be possible to convert levels to discharge and to combine with the gauged record, as for example was done for the River Wear (Archer, 1987) and for the River Tyne (Archer, 1993).

The main outcome of this review is a description of the extent of flooding during the major floods that have occurred over the period from the mid seventeenth century. This is presented as a flood chronicle with a summary description of each event. Continue reading “A History to Flooding – The River Derwent”

Recovery Information

Recovery Information

Thank you to everyone who is helping with the flood recovery. The water levels have gone down now in most of the town and the recovery can begin. The main centre for help, advice and support in Cockermouth is Christ Church. Offers of help, and those seeking help can go to Christ Church. Offers of help can also be sent by email . Want to volunteer? Call Cumbria CVS 01768 800350

You can call Alleredale Council on 01900 702 702 for advice on housing, reception centres, environmental health and general enquiries.

Cumbria Police are advising if roads are closed they are closed for a reason. Please do not move signs & drive on structurally unsafe/flooded roads. Gote Bridge in Cockermouth is closed.

You can find out more information on what to do after your house has been flooded on the Public Health England page and the Cumbria County Council flood advice page.

Cumbria Flood Appeal 2015

Cumbria Community Foundation has launched an appeal to help people across the county affected by today’s devastating floods.

It has kicked off it’s £1m appeal with a donation of £50,000 from its own funds and is asking people who can help, to give generously. The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund 2015 will provide financial assistance to help individuals and families who have been affected. Click here for the application form. Initial hardship grants of £500 can be applied for. It will not normally fund – people who are fully insured, vehicles and businesses.

The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund 2015 is for any individuals or families who suffer financial hardship as a result of the flooding. The money will also help with wider community relief and rebuilding projects.

It will provide support for – cleaning up, emergency repairs, clothing, food and drink, heating and heating equipment, child care equipment and basic furniture.

Priority will be given to households who have people over the age of 70, under the age of five, people with physical or learning difficulties or mental health needs or on a low income.

You can donate by Just Giving

Or by sending a cheque made payable to Cumbria Community Foundation and sent to CCF, Dovenby Hall, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN.

Or send a text to 70070 with the message FLUD15 and a monetary amount. For example, ‘FLUD15 £10’

This is our third flood appeal, the first was in 2005. The second in 2009 raised £3m – all of which went back into rebuilding our devastated county.

The Flood Recovery Fund 2015 is open to anyone whose home has suffered significant structural damage or flooding or people who have lost work or income because of the storm or flood.

Reception Centre & Recovery

Reception centres

Alleredale Council have the following reception centres for those who have been evacuated due to the floods on 5 December 2015:

  • Cockermouth – ECO Centre, Cockermouth School, Castlegate Drive, Cockermouth. Still open on Sunday evening. Now closed
  • Keswick – St Herbert’s School, Trinity Way, Keswick Closed on Sunday evening.

You can call Alleredale Council on 01900 702 702 for advice on housing, reception centres, environmental health and general enquiries.

Police Advice

Following consultation with the rescue teams Cumbria Police issued the following advice for Cockermouth on Sunday afternoon:

Water still remains covering Cockermouth Main Street and the streets towards the river Derwent. There is water over the Derwent Side Gardens, Wakefield Road and Gote Road areas. The water is anything from several inches to several feet deep. The area of St Leonard’s Lane is particularly affected.

Whilst in places the water isn’t particularly deep, the water within the whole of the flooded area is flowing very fast. As such there is a significant risk of people being swept off their feet even in water that is not very deep.

Both the police and the rescue services are aware that some residents still remain within the flooded areas. They are also aware that business and home owners who have previously left the area are keen to check on their property.

Inspector Craig Lory said:
“The advice is not to return to the flooded areas at this stage.

“For residents still in their houses, in flooded areas, you are asked to remain in your houses and not to venture into the floods.

“The rescue services are able to get to everyone if needs be. But if there is an emergency or a need to be evacuated can residents call the emergency services in the first instance, or draw attention to themselves from within their houses, by shouting from windows, only venturing into places that are clearly safe.”

Cleaning up after a flood

You can find out more information on what to do after your house has been flooded on the Public Health England page. Cumbria County Council also have flooding and recovery advice.