Storm Desmond: Floods, power outages hit northwest England

Story highlights

  • Storm Desmond has brought heavy rainfall and flooding to northwest England
  • Electricity has been restored to most of about 60,000 homes left powerless by high water
  • Police find a body in a river after a report of a man falling into water

(CNN)British engineers are scrambling to restore electricity to thousands of homes in northwestern England after flooding knocked out power supplies across the region.

Storm Desmond dumped record levels of rain on northern England and Scotland over the weekend, flooding areas of Cumbria and Lancashire counties and prompting authorities to call in the armed forces to help evacuate people.
    The waters inundated neighborhoods, train lines and sports grounds, and knocked out electricity to more than 60,000 homes.
    By Monday morning, most of the supply was restored, with only 2,957 homes still cut off, according to power company Electricity North West.
    Engineers, working with emergency services, were using boats to try to restore service, said the company.
    "We want to reassure our customers in Lancaster and Cumbria that we are doing everything we possibly can to access our substations, assess the damage caused by severe flooding, and restore supplies," said Mark Williamson, operations director for Electricity North West.

    Body found

    Police said Monday they had found a body in the River Kent, Kendal, in Cumbria, and were working to recover it. They had received reports Sunday that an elderly man had fallen into the water.
    Reception centers have been opened to shelter people who have left their homes because of flooding, Cumbria police said.
    Forty-six severe flood warnings, indicating a risk to life, remain in place in England and Wales.
    More than 4,000 properties are estimated to be flooded in Cumbria, according to authorities in the county.
    The flooding has prompted government officials to hold emergency response meetings.
    British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that he was preparing to visit badly affected areas Monday.

    Schools closed

    In Cumbria, the most heavily affected county, the local council website says dozens of schools will remain closed Monday and are not expected to reopen at least until Tuesday. The power cuts have also closed at least 10 schools in Lancashire.
    The bad weather also shut down seven train lines Sunday, according to the Northern Rail site, with many of those lines not expected to be operable for days.