Flood bill for Cumbria could hit £200m

Millions of pounds of bridge and road repair funding was announced yesterday for Cumbria, as residents picked their way back into soaked and stinking properties for the first time.

Work will start as soon as is practicable on temporary crossings at the site of wrecked bridges, whose collapse is forcing long detours for people trying to get to work or school.

Priority action is meanwhile targeting structural and power safety checks, as well as clearing debris from rivers.

About 11,000 households north of Workington were warned last night to make arrangements for emergency telephone links if, as expected, the Calva bridge across the Derwent collapses.