OVER a third of homeowners in the south west are worried it would cost them more than £5,000 to repair flood damage to their property.

A survey conducted by Vuba, released in the wake of Storm Henk, revealed that about 39 per cent of residents in the region fear spending that sum on repairs.

Vuba's findings suggest a significant lack of flood preparedness in south west homes.

The government has announced that flood-affected households in given regions can apply for up to £500 cash assistance.

This financial aid might, however, not be adequate given the extent of the damages.

More than half (57 per cent) of South West residents believe that flood damage will cost them over £500.

Homeowners in the south west are also concerned about long-term effects of flood damage.

Almost a fifth fear that their property's value will dwindle due to the adverse impacts of floods.

Somerset County Gazette: People wade through flood water in Loughborough (Callum Parke/PA)

Vuba submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Environmental Agency about flood risk management projects receiving funding.

Its findings indicate a decline in money set aside to manage flood risk in the south west.

The allocation dropped by 5.7 per cent from £111.9 million in 2022/2023 to just £105.5 million for 2023/2024.

Somerset, among all the South West counties, has received the highest amount - a massive £40.9 million for projects meant to boost flood resilience.

Nationally, overall funding showed negligible change, increasing by 0.2 per cent from £836 million to £838 million.

Reflecting on the survey's findings, Vuba CEO, Sean Scott said: "For most of us, our home is our greatest asset, and it is concerning that so many homeowners in the south west fear they would have to spend significant amounts to repair flooding damages.

"The lack of flood defence mechanisms in the region is especially concerning as climate change is causing more frequent and more intense downpours, leaving homeowners at risk."

Mr Scott noted that one cost-effective method to buffer homes against floods is using permeable surfaces in outdoor areas.

This aids in ground water absorption during rainfall, reducing chances of flooding and subsequent damaging.

Mr Scott stressed: "While the Government has taken note of this and is demanding that all new developments incorporate permeable surfaces to reduce flooding risk, more needs to be done to raise consumer awareness of this effective flood prevention tool."