How two mums were left counting the cost of Storm Ciara

Avenham Park flooded.

A Lancashire mum has told of how she had been left stranded in Cumbria as Storm Ciara wreaked havoc across the North West. 

The storm hit over the weekend and caused major damage across the UK, with the region being particularly badly affected. 

Stefanie Hall, a reporter at Lancashire Post, went to visit friends via train at Gretna Green in Scotland for an overnight stay and shopping trip but ended up being stuck in Carlisle on Sunday. 

Stefanie, who was with her children Calum, 13, and eight-year-old Poppy, had to get a hotel for the night after train services were cancelled.

The 37-year-old, from Atherton, near Bolton, said: “I’m out of pocket but I blame myself because I knew the storm was coming.” 

She added: “We had to take a bus from Gretna Green to Carlisle but once we got to Carlisle train station they told us that all the trains were cancelled for the rest of the day going south. 

“We had to then find a hotel in Carlisle.” 

Across the UK, some areas experienced a month-and-a-half’s worth of rainfall and gusts of 97mph on Sunday.

Calum and Poppy were due back at school today but missed it due to train cancellations. 

The mum-of-two said: “The kids got a Nando’s out of it and a day off school so they’re quite happy. 

“People are in such a worse situation, like their homes have been flooded, so we feel quite lucky actually that all we’ve had to do is have an extra overnight stay.” 

This morning some train lines began running again, such as Great Northern and Grand Central. 

Stef said: “Luckily our hotel was near the train station so when we found out some of the trains were running this morning we hopped on the first one coming to Preston.” 

Meanwhile, a Preston mum’s house has been flooded for the third time in eight years. 

In a house bought almost 18 years ago, water is being pumped from its cellar after the storm hit Preston. 

Yvonne Woodhouse, mum-of-one, said: “We weren’t in the flood risk area when we bought it and for the first 10-and-a-half years there was no bother at all, then in June 2012 we ended up in a hotel for three weeks with a young child. 

“We then had to go looking for a house to rent.” 

Mrs Woodhouse added: “We are lucky this time the water didn’t get high enough to get in the cupboards and we kept the fridge and freezer doors shut.” 

Having experienced serious flooding multiple times, Mrs Woodhouse knows what to expect. 

She said: “We now know what we can do to save as much as we can.” 

Mrs Woodhouse has spondylitis arthritis in her back which prevents her from helping in the clean up of the house she shares with her family. 

She said: “My husband has had to do it all on his own again and this time we are trying not to move out and my husband has been pumping as much water out as he can. 

“I don’t know how long the maintenance will take because we’ve tried to keep on top of it and it didn’t get as high this time.” 

The Met Office has said: “Showers will turn increasingly to snow later on Monday, becoming frequent and heavy at times and lasting through Tuesday. 

“The snow showers will occur particularly over high ground giving locally 1-3 cm above around 150 metres and 3-8 cm above 300 metres. 

“Snow will gradually build, perhaps leading to accumulation of 10-15 cm on the highest routes.”

Preston Police are urging locals to be careful whilst out driving or walking and to look out for any vulnerable neighbours in flooded areas.