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Storm damage `in tens of millions`

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The cost of the damage done by the weekend storms has been estimated by home insurers to be "in the low tens of millions", with the average repair bill likely to be about £20,000.

The bills are likely to rise if storms predicted for later this week cause further flooding.

Norwich Union, one of the country's biggest providers of home contents insurance, said the claims were mostly from north-east England and South Wales.

Senior claims manager Jason Harris said: "So far we have had a slight increase in reported claims as a result of the weekend weather. The majority of claims were in the North East and South Wales.

"While this obviously meant an increase in call volumes to our call centres, this was not nearly as significant as last summer's events.

"Our local claims teams were on stand-by throughout the weekend, closely monitoring the rainfall, and they are currently working with the homeowners who were forced to leave their properties and who were affected by the adverse conditions."

Flood victims were advised to report the damage as quickly as possible to speed up their claim. But Mr Harris warned that it could take "several months" for homes to dry out to allow people to return.

© The Press Association 2008