Aside from whether the new flood defense systems have worked or not, the problems around the North West show the challenges facing the UK's infrastructure.
It is against the backdrop of potentially inaccurate modelling that any reviews will be carried out. With a challenging timetable facing the initial report of the new National Infrastructure Commission, this will be an added complication when they are already looking at the country's transport infrastructure and future-proofed energy. Resilience will doubtless feature heavily in any work, but that can only be properly assessed if the models around weather and climate change are accurate.
Flood defenses did not feature in the initial terms of reference for the Commission, but it is only a matter of time before the Government passes it to them to be assessed.
Meanwhile, there has been criticism of the government because Cumbria's multimillion-pound flood defences - built following floods in 2005 - failed to keep the deluge from people's homes. Environment Secretary Liz Truss, who is visiting Carlisle, said existing flood defences did make a difference. "The effect of the defences was to delay the impact and reduce the impact so that gave more time for people to be evacuated, it gave more time for the emergency services to operate and help to protect lives and homes," she told BBC Breakfast. On a visit to Carlisle on Monday, Prime Minister David Cameron said the flooding was "absolutely horrific" and the government would fully reimburse councils for the costs of dealing with it.