Flood victims to remain homeless into next year
Large numbers of people forced from their homes by the summer floods will be homeless well into the new year, insurers have warned.
Many families can expect to spend Christmas in caravans or other temporary accommodation because of the sheer scale of the damage.
Pete Kershaw, property claims manager at Zurich Municipal, said it would be a long time before residents could return to their homes in many areas.
Residents in Hull and Tewkesbury would face particularly long waits, he said.
'Some properties are drying quicker than others but we won't have all the properties done by the end of the year,' he said. 'It's a challenge getting round each and every property.'
Tom Shewry, head of housing at Zurich Municipal, said one of the main challenges would be minimising the disruption to stable communities.
'We've been trying to keep people in their communities so have bought hundreds of caravans and put them in people's back gardens,' he said. 'That gives them living space in their own localities and communities and it's much better than being put up in a hotel miles from their friends, neighbours and schools.'
Mr Shewry, who described the damage as unprecedented, said the insurer had sourced dehumidifiers from America as well as outsourcing damage assessors from Germany because of the scale of the floods.
The Association of British Insurers estimated that around 27,000 homes had been flood-damaged.