Last updated: 04:24 PM ET, Sat December 05 2015

North West UK Road and Rail Reeling from Storm Desmond

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | December 05, 2015

North West UK Road and Rail Reeling from Storm Desmond

Photo via Twitter/NetworkRailMAN

The U.K. is reeling from the effects of Storm Desmond, which brought flash flooding to parts of Cumbria, a county in North West England on the border with Scotland. Police in region are calling this a "major incident," the BBC reported.

And it’s not over.

BBC weather expert Chris Fawkes said on Saturday evening, local time that the "epicenter" of the storm will most likely hit Cumbria, and conditions will get worse.

There are scores of severe flood warnings in England and southwest Scotland, and the BBC noted that warnings in the “severe” category means there might be a danger to life.

The major impact will be felt over the next 24 hours across northern England and Scotland, according to BBC weather forecasters, with “exceptional” levels of rainfall in some areas — 2.5 to 4 inches in less severely hit areas, but as much as 10 to 12 inches in isolated pockets.

And with Storm Desmond’s flooding comes travel headaches aplenty.

The BBC is reporting blocked roads in some Cumbria locales, and main roads in southern Scotland obstructed by landslides and flooding. Fallen trees also closed roads in the Northern Ireland counties of Down and Tyrone.

The National Rail is declaring a “major disruption” of service in northern England for Saturday and Sunday. Affected rail companies include First TransPennine Express; Northern Rail; Virgin Trains and Virgin Trains East Coast.

National Rail said trains between England and Scotland are not running north of Preston/Newcastle Saturday, and the trains that are running will be subject to a speed limit.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, explained via the agency’s warning page: "We care about the safety of passengers and staff and will put these speed restrictions in place over the weekend to protect anyone on the railway from the forecasted high winds and heavy rain. This decision will add additional times to some journeys and may lead to some services being canceled but I can assure passengers it has been made with their safety in mind.

"We are working with train operators to minimize the impact as much as possible and will lift the restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so,” Frobisher continued, “We will have extra staff across the network to tackle any issues, which may arise to keep the railway safe and open as much as possible. I thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding and urge them to check for the latest information before travelling and allow extra time to complete their journeys."


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