RESIDENTS of a flood-hit Ulverston said they are still living in limbo 10 years on after water ruined their homes.

In 2009 the people of south Ulverston were left to pick up the pieces after torrential rain left streets under a foot of water.

Although huge strides have been made in the past decade to combat the persistent problem of flooding in the town, there are some who feel forgotten and unable to move on with their lives.

Painter and decorator Sarah Pearce has lived in Kennedy Street for 26 years. He retired next door neighbours Derek and Pat Foden moved in in 1988.

Since the floods Mrs Pearce and the Fodens have spent upwards of £10,000 trying to make their homes liveable but to no avail.

Creeping damp, rotten floorboards and pools of water forming under the foundations have left them drained, frustrated, and desperate to go back to a life of normality.

Mrs Pearce, 43, said: "It's mentally destroying. It is embarrassing. You don't want to let anybody in your house. You are constantly looking to see if there is any more damage. You're watching your house devalue and crumble before your very eyes."

On the night of November 19 a combination of heavy rain, a high tide and poor drainage saw large swathes of south Ulverston flooded. North Londsale Road, Steel Street and Kennedy street were amongst the worst hit.

Although water not not make it over the high steps of the houses on Kennedy Street, it did flood through the exposed air bricks, into the homes of Mrs Pearce and Mr and Mrs Foden.

Even though the water receded, families in Kennedy Street cannot rebuild because of the continually wet conditions underneath their houses.

Pat Foden, 67, said: "It's because it comes from outside. If a river bursts its banks there is a reason for it. I know the council did tarmac the road and the pavement to see if that would help us, but it's coming from underneath the ground."

In the years since his house flooded Derk Foden, 68, has fought a losing battle to dry out the foundations of his home. The front room of the house, once his pride and joy, resembles a building site, with holes several feet deep sunk to try and drain away the ever present water.

He said: "We've probably spent about £10,000 each on the work. We've had our roofs extended, new roofing put on, drain pipes and guttering, doors, our chimney stacks. We've done everything thinking it would work."

Laying concrete underneath the floor has been debated, but, at a cost of close to £5,000 and no guarantee it would stop the water problems it is an investment neither family is willing to make.

For Mrs Pearce the dire conditions they have lived with have become "normal" to them.

To combat the diverse factors behind flooding in Ulverston, the Environment Agency has been working on a complete flood plan for the town. The 18 month project is set to be completed later this year and is hoped will once and for all provide an explanation for why parts of Ulverston are more prone to flooding.

In addition to this a multi-mullion pound project, the town beck flood alleviation scheme, saw huge engineering work undertaken in the town centre.

Culverts dating back more than 100 years were taken out and replaced with updated infrastructure, the goal to protect hundreds of town centre homes and businesses from flooding.

Ulverston Town Councillor Andrew Butcher was himself flooded out of his home in North Lonsdale Road for 16 months in 2009.

He said the work by local Environment Agency officers had been exceptional in the years since the flooding, but, the higher up the chain problems went the less attention they seemed to receive.

He said: "I feel that the Environment Agency, led by the people that have done all the flood resilience work in Ulverston have been very very good. But when I look at the plans now with the attempt to build a new housing estate, this will only lead to problems in south Ulverston. This is not the Environment Agency in our local area, this is the Environment Agency at a National Level."

Environment Agency bosses said they plan to meet more regularly with residents of south Ulverston.