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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 February, 2004, 09:43 GMT
Floods 'lead to mental illness'
Flooded road
Lewes was devastated by the floods in October 2000
Flooding victims have a greater risk of developing mental health problems, research has revealed.

The study says people in Lewes whose homes were hit by floods are four times more likely to suffer psychological distress than average.

Lewes District Council conducted the study to assess the long-term damage of the severe floods in 2000.

Councillors hope the report will help their campaign for improved flood defences in the Lewes area.

The findings of the study were expected by some council workers who had watched the upheaval and worked with flood victims.

The most stressful thing for us is that nothing has happened in the last four years except for some people furthering their academic careers
Sue Enfield, flood victim

Lewes District Council's Ian Kedge said: "People were out of their homes for sometimes over a year and that has a big impact on personal lives.

"It is not just a case of getting wet, then putting it all back together again and getting on.

"There are lots of ongoing problems."

But the report has been criticised by some flood victims who have called for action instead of words.

Sue Enfield said: "My first reaction is that it is extraordinary it has taken 10 academics four years to come up with the obvious, which is if you are flooded it is a very stressful thing.

"The most stressful thing for us is that nothing has happened in the last four years except for some people furthering their academic careers."




SEE ALSO:
Flooding fears in South East
28 Dec 03  |  England


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