People in the northwest of England are counting the cost of the devastation to their homes after record rainfalls caused widespread flooding.Hundreds of people had to be rescued in the picturesque county of Cumbria – worst hit was the town of Cockermouth. Military helicopters winched people to safety and emergency workers used inflatable life boats to ferry victims to drier land. In Workington one police officer died after a bridge was swept away by surging waters. The UK’s Environment agency recorded 30 cm of rain in 24 hours – a record for England. Police estimate over 1000 homes have been hit by the flood waters as insurers began assessing the damage. To the west of Cumbria, over in Ireland, heavy rains and gales also brought flooding – more than one metre of water shut down the centre of the country’s second largest city , Cork. Although the rains have eased, further downfalls are expected later today.