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Remediation stretches on for flood ravaged Hull

More than a thousand people still in caravans as huge volume repair work continues

Repair work to salvage flooded homes in Hull will not finish before next summer.

Rok, which is carrying out work on a host of properties for insurance firm Zurich, has admitted it will spend another six months revamping homes damaged by the water. In all, it will have carried out £5 million worth of work on 500 homes in the city.

June's heavy rain left more than 8,600 homes and 1,300 businesses wrecked by flood damage. More than 1,400 people are still living in caravans.

Rok area leader Paul Franklin said: "We are still visiting properties owned by elderly people that still haven't properly been dried out."

Mr Franklin added that the main concerns from residents have focused on the city's tidal defence system.

He said: "We have heard a lot of worries for the tidal defences at the mouth of the estuary, with the smaller rivers running into the Humber."

A leading engineer has said the city should be left to flood.

MWH technical director and ICE council member professor David Balmforth said new defences would be unsustainable and too expensive to build.

He said: "For key towns and locations here it may be that the only practical solution is managed retreat. That could even apply to Hull."

This week, the Association of British Insurers called on the Government to develop a 25-year strategy to manage the UK's growing risk from floods. It wants stronger planning controls to ensure new developments are not built in high risk areas.

An independent inquiry commissioned by Hull City Council said Yorkshire Water had failed to act on repeated warnings that the city's pumping and drainage systems were inadequate.

The Independent Review Body, chaired by Tom Coulthard, professor of physical geography at Hull University, accused the water company of repeatedly overestimating the capacity of its equipment to deal with heavy rain in the city, 90 per cent of which is below the level of the high tide.

Analysis: Pumps as well as barriers are vital

By Tom Coulthard

You can't just ditch Hull - it's important to have a large port in the area.

What is needed now in Hull is for one agency to take the lead on improving its sustainable drainage infrasturucture.

The Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and the local council are all competing at the moment.

Certainly Ofwat will have a say too, but I would look to the Environment Agency to provide a firm lead in improving the city.

It's not just about building larger flood defences, it's about improving the resilience of the pumping infrastructure.

The floods had a huge impact. At one time 90 per cent of the schools were closed, which meant parents had to stay at home and look after their children.

This had a huge effect on the local economy.

Tom Coulthard is professor of physical geography at Hull University