Cockermouth businesses were left to deal with the devastation of the 2009 floods for more than six months before they were able to get back on their feet.

Jonty Chippendale, who owns The Toy Shop on Main Street, remembers a “raging torrent” of water flowing outside his shop.

“It had been raining for two weeks and the ground was saturated. On the night of the 18th it was raining really heavily, by the morning of the 19th it was raining so hard that I went out to look at the river and I was soaked, the river was coming up and coming up.”

Jonty started moving all his stock but had to give up by mid-afternoon as it was getting harder and harder to cross the road and get to high ground.

He said: “Through the night I could see helicopters going to rescue people and the next day it was just frustration.

“The town was cordoned off and my shop was completely flooded.”

Jonty’s shop reopened in a temporary space, shared by other businesses, but it was about seven months before he could move back into The Toy Shop.

He said: “We created a sort of little shopping mall, it wasn’t for financial reasons, it was for the customer service, this happened just before Christmas.”

But Jonty doesn’t feel like his business is safe. He said the flood defences that were built in the town were great, but the data used to build them has already been superceded by climate change, as the 2015 floods have already proven.

“To expect Cockermouth not to be flooded again would be stupid.

“When I see that another area has been flooded, my heart goes out to them, but I feel a huge relief it’s not me.”

Jonty believes plans should be made nationally and locally to make properties more resilient against flooding.

He said: “There is a place in Germany where people live on a flood plain on the Rhine, it’s just about making your building resilient.”

He said after adapting his building, The Toy Shop reopened in six days after Storm Desmond left the town devastated once again.

Jonty said many promises were made to Cockermouth following both floods, but very few were kept.

“The problem is that as soon as the media attention has gone, the pressure on the authorities to follow through on their promises goes.