Darrell Matthews, Regional Director ICE North West said, "Our sympathies are with the people badly affected by this, and we must thank the emergency services and others involved for the professional way they've handled a serious natural disaster.
"Even flood defences expertly designed to last a century can be overwhelmed by the kind of weather we've just experienced. We are looking at situations where flood defences have done what they were designed to do, and have held back the floods for as long as possible. This has bought time for emergency measures to be taken to keep people safe.
"The expertise of the engineers involved in designing and building the defences will also be key in future plans to ensure that Cumbria has a level of defence that protects its people, and their property.
"ICE members will also be involved in rebuilding the bridges and transport links that have been damaged by Storm Desmond. Fortunately, we are well placed in the region – ICE has over 6,000 members in the North West, many of whom work in this part of the sector – and we must keep investing in the infrastructure and the skills that we need, even in times of strong pressure on the public purse."