Cumbria floods: Hundreds still unable to return home

Water-damaged possessions sit outside a flooded home in Carlisle after flooding created by Storm Desmond Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Water-damaged possessions sitting outside flooded homes became a common sight in Carlisle

Almost 200 people are still unable to return to their homes more than 19 months after Storm Desmond devastated parts of Cumbria.

Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) said more than £9m had been given to fund flood recovery and resilience measures, but £900,000 was still available.

It has urged flood victims to apply for uninsured recovery costs and resilience top-up grants before the deadline.

More than 5,500 households were flooded by record rainfall in December 2015.

Where people are a year and a half later
Household status Allerdale Carlisle Eden South Lakeland Total
Flooded 1,425 1,667 425 2,008 5,525
Returned home 1,415 1,552 402 1,957 5,326
Unable to return 10 115 23 51 199

CCF flood fund programme manager Dr Jenny Benson said being flooded was "devastating and the effects are felt long after the water has subsided".

"Even those whose financial circumstances initially appeared 'comfortable' have met with uninsured and unexpected losses," she said.

The fund could help with flood defence measures such as raising the height of electrical outlets, which some insurers would not cover, she added.

Bob Harwood's home near Maryport was flooded for the second time in six years, when more than 6ft of water from the nearby River Ellen entered the property during Storm Desmond.

He said a £14,000 grant to strengthen a flood bank now meant he was "well defended" against further breaches of the river.

Image caption Bob Harwood received a grant of £14,000 to protect his home near Maryport

He said: "Thanks to the resilience grant money we are now reasonably confident that we won't be affected by another once-in-a-lifetime event.

"I would say that if anyone thinks they are still entitled to any resilience money, then they should apply."

Of the cash paid out, about £6.7m in emergency financial help and flood prevention grants has gone to 3,053 households, 2,774 of them flooded.

Just over £2.2m was awarded to 145 charities and organisations providing counselling, advice and community services.

The deadline for individual applications for grants is 30 September and 11 August for community organisations,.

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