The damage caused by flooding across the north of England and other parts of the UK in recent weeks could cost businesses and residents up to £5.8bn to repair, and more stormy weather is predicted.
York, Hull and Lancashire have been among the worst hit by Storm Desmond, Storm Eva and Storm Frank since the beginning of December, according to accountancy firm KPMG. The cost to the UK insurance industry alone could reach £1.5bn.
Justin Balcombe, KPMG’s UK head of general insurance management consulting, told The Guardian: “The scale of the flooding over the last few weeks has seen communities across large sections of northern England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland severely impacted.
”In 2007 when a similar pattern of flooding hit, total insured claims were £3.2bn, however, we consider that the actual financial impact far exceeded this. We are assessing this month’s events through a number of economic lenses, resulting in an initial total cost estimate of £5 to £5.8bn.”
Independent retailers in the northwest of England described “ghost town” scenes following Storm Desmond at the beginning of December.