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Residents not doing enough to protect homes from floods

Photo: ITV Border

An insurance company has suggested that communities in Cumbria aren't doing enough to protect themselves from flooding.

Zurich's report into the storms in December says river levels are likely to continue rising so communities shouldn't rely on the authorities and instead install their own flood protection.

But Keswick's Flood Action Group says communities are already doing a lot.

Keswick as a community they have an emergency plan so they have places where people who've been flooded where they can go, the WI are very good and look after them, the churches are very involved, it's a whole big community and even afterwards if your house has been flooded they will help you lift up your carpets or move furniture or do whatever you want - take your curtains down - they're very, very good and it goes on for weeks afterwards as well.

– Stephen Curtis, Keswick Flood Action Group
Credit: ITV Border

The report takes issue with terms like a 'one in a hundred years flood'.

Instead, it urges authorities and property owners to be aware that no flood defence cannot be over-topped and to have a better 'Plan B' when they do.

Stephen Curtis of Bramblewood Cottage Guest House in Keswick applied for a £5,000 grant to install flood protection in his home and business.

The report says not enough people did this.

We have had flood gates and we have had our floors tanked. We have put in for this £5,000 grant and we have a surveyor and we've got it all surveyed for the side of our house. The water does come in and there's some resilience work is going to be done there as well. Lots of people have done things like that, like the floors - they've gone and put in concrete floors. It's all down to finance because some of the things do cost quite a bit.

– Stephen Curtis, Keswick Flood Action Group

The Environment Agency says that by 2080, river levels could rise by up to 70% from what they were a hundred years before.

More can always be done but this community says they're doing all they can.