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Engineers count cost of northern storms

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ENGINEERS WERE this week fi ghting to restore power, water and sewerage to residents in Hexham and Carlisle after storms ravaged northern England at the weekend.

Cast and ductile iron water mains embedded in the banks of the River Tyne at Hexham were exposed by the scour of flood flows and ruptured by debris.

This has left 10,000 households without potable water until the end of this week.

Northumbrian Water has laid 3km of temporary 250mm diameter plastic pipe to restore supplies to eight service reservoirs feeding Hexham, Allendale and Slaley.

But the makeshift mains were not expected to be charged until this weekend, a spokeswoman said. Drinking water was being supplied from bowsers and by using tankers to fill the service reservoirs.

Northumbrian was waiting for the level of the Tyne to fall to assess damage to the main as NCE went to press.

In Carlisle, United Utilities reported that a waste water treatment works was swamped by the River Eden, forcing it to reroute sewage.

The Eden's 4m surge also knocked out several electricity substations in Carlisle, severing supplies to 60,000 customers.

On Tuesday United Utilities was pumping the substations dry, and stripping and cleaning them to restore full power supply.

Floods and high winds have cut power to 170,000 households across Cumbria and Lancashire.

Fallen trees and standing water were also preventing Cumbria County Council engineers from carrying out a full inspection of damage to roads.

But there is reported to be local damage to the road network, with resurfacing and some carriageway reconstruction needed, a spokeswoman said.

Following the weekend's one in 180 year fl ood in Carlisle, the Environment Agency could fast track a decision on improving fl od defences in Carlisle, a spokeswoman said.

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