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05 March 2018

Cumbria County Council secures military assistance to help access the most isolated communities in Cumbria

Today (Monday 5 March) Cumbria County Council working with all its partners through the Multi Agency Coordination group (which includes Police, Mountain Rescue, Fire Rescue Service and Cumbria’s District Councils) have secured military assistance to help access the most isolated communities in Cumbria. Many of these communities have now been cut off from all supplies for five days. The first task for the military will be to do an emergency air drop, using a chinook, taking emergency supplies to these communities which include:

- Food and groceries

- Coal and logs for heating

- Goods for babies including food and Formula

- Electrical heating appliances

So far a range of intelligence has identified a number of high priority families/residents in a number of extremely isolated areas including Fellside, South Stainmore and Alston.

Speaking on the decision to bring in the Military, Cllr Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council said:

“Without doubt this is the right decision. We have some communities who have now been stranded for five days and we have to do all we can to ensure that they are safe and well. Despite our very best efforts and our crew’s working day and night we are experiencing ongoing significant challenges in accessing some of our communities. The depth of snow and the challenging nature of the terrain is making progress on clearing roads exceptionally slow. As a result it is estimated that it will be at least 48 hours before we reach many more of these communities hence the need to bring in military assistance and we are very grateful for their help.”

Superintendent Justin Bibby, Cumbria Police said:

“The multi-agency partnership’s priority is to help and support the communities that have been affected by the severe, adverse weather conditions that we have experienced.

“We’d like to thank the military for supporting us and assisting us to get vital supplies and equipment to those areas that continue to be isolated by snow.”

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Cumbria County Council working with all its partners through the Multi Agency Coordination group (which includes Police, Mountain Rescue, Fire Rescue Service and Cumbria�s District Councils) have secured military assistance to help access the most isolated communities in Cumbria.