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Gordon Brown meets Cumbria flood victims

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 21 November 2009

During a visit to flood-hit Cumbria Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledges an extra £1m to help storm victims who are now braced for more rain after England's wettest day on record.


Gordon Brown joined Environment Secretary Hilary Benn today as they assessed flood damage and met victims of the severe storms.

The prime minister praised the emergency services at Penrith police station for their work during the crisis.

He joined Environment Hilary Benn and met members of the emergency services at Penrith police station.

Homes are still being searched after the record breaking rain caused chaos as it flooded homes and swept away bridges yesterday.

PC Bill Barker, 44, a father of four, died after a bridge on which he was standing in order to direct motorists, was swept away by flood waters in Workington. His body was found almost 10 miles up the coast at a beach in Allonby. He was due to celebrate his 45th birthday today.

At a joint meeting with the police, fire and rescue service, army, county council and highways agency the prime minister said:

 "Thank you for the coordinated work you've done and the superb response you've given.

"The way the emergency services have come together has given the whole country pride in what you do.

"I'm sorry about the loss of Pc Bill Barker, and I know he was a very brave and heroic man.

"What you have done over the last few days is tackle one of the greatest rainfalls we've seen in our country and you've done it will such superb organisation that I wanted to tell you on behalf of the whole country how proud we are of you."

The village of Cockermouth was one of the worst hit by the flooding. This morning the devastation caused by the storm was revealed as waters began to subside.

On Main Street in the centre of the town a foot of water was left standing in parts with mud and debris strewn across parts of the road.

Police were still checking properties to ensure they were empty and everyone had been evacuated before road sweepers are sent in to clean up the area.

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