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Flood Diary Study Launched

Story supplied by LU Press Office

Lancaster University researchers have launched a study exploring the long-term effects of serious floods which hit East Yorkshire in June 2007.

The diaries of 55 flood victims will be used to help researchers fully understand the trauma suffered by thousands of people in the region and learn about the practical problems which they have had to overcome.

Residents, many of whom are still living in temporary accommodation or caravans, are keeping a daily log of the difficulties they continue to face eight months on.

The volunteers will keep the diary for up to 18 months - they will also be brought together during the course of the project to discuss issues affecting the recovery process.

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Environment Agency, the study called 'Flood, vulnerability and urban resilience: a real-time study of local recovery following the floods of June 2007 in Hull' will focus on the long-term impact of the floods on health, social networks and economic well being.

The findings from the study will be fed back into key agencies such as the Environment Agency, DEFRA, and Hull City Council.

It will also be collated into a permanent archive documenting the slow process of recovery which will be available for people who want to learn from the experience in the future.

The University has used a similar approach to capture the long-term impact of the food-and-mouth disaster on communities in Cumbria in 2001. The team have also been involved in working with the Environment Agency on improving the social and institutional responses to flooding.

Project researcher Rebecca Sims of Lancaster University's Department of Geography said: "The events in Hull dramatically exposed the vulnerability of urban communities in the face of major floods.

Today there are still more than 2,000 people living in temporary accommodation and more than 800 families in caravans across Hull.

"While the initial impact in Yorkshire, Humberside and Worcestershire was well documented by the national media, the extended process of physical, social and personal recovery over the coming months and years will be lost from the headlines.

"We hope the material we collect during this research project will go some way to redress the balance, creating a permanent archive of material which will be of practical help to agencies facing similar problems in the future."

Fri 08 February 2008

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