What's it like to be in the Cumbria floods?

Chris Jackson lives in Kendal, Cumbria. He tells Matthew Connolly what it was like when the floods hit his home. Photographs by Luke Santilli

 

Chris Jackson in his flooded home
Chris Jackson at home

"I came home about 3 o'clock on Saturday with my mum and we could see the water coming across the fields," says Chris (main picture with his friend Ophelia).

"I got most of my possessions upstairs with the help of my mum; it was pretty frightening but I got out before the water got in the house, which was flooded up to a couple of feet.

By 4.15pm I was walking down the road away from the house in the dark, up to my knees in water, and I’m registered blind so I couldn’t see a lot

 

"When I came back on the Sunday the water had all gone apart from what was on the carpets. The insurance company's been round and the drying company, with dehumidifiers, and builders are taking all the wet plasterboard off.

"I'm staying at my mum's. They reckon it will take about a week for drying it and it could be towards the end of January before the builders are finished; after that I don't know.

 

Chris Jackson's possessions outside his flooded home
Chris Jackson's street after the flooding

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Chris Jackson's possessions outside his flooded home
Clearing houses in Chris Jackson's street

"I had the house decorated a few months ago and this kitchen’s only 4 years old. And because all the furniture and carpets have gone I’m having to feel my way around – everything is the same colour now, all my contrasts have gone.

"My auntie lives at the end of this row of houses so that's 3 of us in the same family affected.

My next-door neighbours moved in in the 1960s just after the houses were built, and they say they’ve never seen anything like this.  

"Everyone is gobsmacked. I’m worried it's going to happen again, and if I could, I’d ask the Government to look at the flood defences to make sure it doesn't."

Pictures of flooding in Glenridding 

Community spirit
The community helps out in the flooded village of Glenridding, just over 20 miles away from Kendal

 

Mountain rescue help clear the village shop
Mountain rescue helping clear the village store in Glenridding

 

Flooded village store
The wrecked village store, Glenridding, Cumbria

  

Mending the beck
Clearing the beck, Glenridding

  

damaged road
The floods hit roads as well as homes - Glenridding, Cumbria

 

submerged landscape
Submerged landscape after the floods in Cumbria

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First published 15 December 2015

Chris Jackson and his colleague Ophelia in his flooded home