Industry 'crippled' by storm

Licensees left homeless after Storm Desmond devastates pubs

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

Licensees left homeless after Storm Desmond devastates pubs

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Pubs have been ‘crippled’ by Storm Desmond, with many licensees in Cumbria evacuated due to severe flooding.

Kyle Macrae, owner of the Royal Oak in Appleby, Cumbria – one of the worst affected towns - said the pub trade has been “devastated” in the area. The River Eden burst its banks flooding homes, shops and pubs.


“We’ve had wind damage, and a flagpole falling onto the car, but it’s nothing compared to the people down in town. They’re homeless, the pubs are flooded out. The Grapes had about 12 foot of water inside,” he told the Publican's Morning Advertiser.

Macrae said the licensees and their families had been evacuated, and all the pubs will have to be gutted. 

“They’re devastated. We didn’t get any flood damage as we’re just out of town, up a hill, so that was our saviour," he said. “But we had no electricity at the weekend, and there have been a lot of cancellations. It was financially crippling over the weekend. We’ve all been affected.”

More floods are expected, and the Licensed Trade Charity have offered advice and support for those affected – featured below.


Many Punch pubs were in the most affected areas of Storm Desmond.

A spokesman for the pubco said: “Our local teams were in contact with each of these pubs over the weekend to ensure, in the first instance, that they were safe, and their immediate requirements were met.

“We will continue to work with each Publican closely over the coming days to assess what is needed in order to get their pubs back up and running as quickly and as safely as possible, and will offer support during this difficult time."



The Licensed Trade Charity has offered the following advice.

  • Dry out the premises as soon as possible. You may need de-humidifiers or other specialist equipment.
  • Do not attempt any repairs until you are sure that the flooding has ceased and the premises have dried fully.
  • Follow utilities and emergency services advice: Do not switch on until advised it is safe to do so. Water may still be contaminated.
  • Do not attempt to sell any flood-affected stock, which may have been contaminated by sewage.
  • Wear protective clothing when handling debris.

Insurance claims

  • Notify your insurance broker as soon as possible. Your insurers will probably want to send a loss adjuster to inspect the damage but this may take some days because of the sheer volume of claims.
  • Retain correspondence with insurers after the flood and make sure the company knows where to contact you if you’ve had to move out of the premises.
  • Take photographs or video of the damage to both buildings and contents.
  • Mark the water levels on the walls for reference.
  • Make a note of any staff resources and other emergency expenses incurred during the clean-up operation.
  • Keep trading records, the last set of accounts and details of any increased costs readily available as these will be required for any Business interruption claim
  • You may well be approached by claims management companies offering to help you with your claim and negotiate with your insurers. If you decide that you need professional help with your claim, ensure that you deal with a firm that is authorised and regulated by the FSA, who are obliged to handle your claim fairly. Non-authorised companies may be operating illegally.
  • If you have one, contact your landlord: Your lease or tenancy agreement will set out clearly who is responsible for which repairs.

Income and Cash flow

If your cash flow is significantly down and you are strapped for cash, contact utilities, your landlord (if you have one), the local council re business rates and other organisations who supply you with business and domestic services to see if they may negotiate a delay or reduction in payments.


Floodline 0845 988 1188 – for further flood warning advice.

Licensed Trade Charity helpline number - 01344 898550 or go to the Support & Care Website

Have you been affected by Storm Desmond? Email

Related topics: Health & safety

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