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UK Winter Floods Update – 31 December 2015

31st Dec 2015

Expert in this field

Issued at 11:30 on Friday 31 December 2015

Storm Frank

Hundreds of homes were evacuated yesterday and many lost power, as Storm Frank tore it’s way across the UK. However, currently the damage caused doesn’t appear to be on the same scale as Storms Desmond or Eva and incoming claims numbers are slowing this morning.

Worst affected is Scotland – a widespread area from Dumfries and Galloway to Deeside/Aberdeen, with Ballater badly hit by flooding.

Croston in Lancashire was also underwater yesterday as the River Yarrow burst its banks.

Storm Eva

At this stage, the potential volume of claims from Storm Eva seems to be on a similar scale to Storm Desmond. We’ve received a large number of commercial major losses: local housing associations, engineering works and several retail outlets – large corporates and SMEs.

In terms of where the claims are coming from – the city centres of York and Leeds, together with Tadcaster, Hebden Bridge, Shipley, Mytholmroyd, Brighouse, Knaresborough and several other towns and villages have been worst hit. The extent of the damage in York city centre isn’t as severe as Carlisle, although a large number of homes in the Huntingdon Road have been affected.

On the other side of the Pennines in Lancashire: Salford, Manchester, Whalley, Summerseat, Rochdale, Bolton, Radcliffe, Bury and several other areas, have also suffered significant flood damage.

Our Response

We’ve already made contact with the vast majority of the customers affected by Storm Eva. Many have either been visited or visits have been arranged for this coming weekend.

The Army has been very efficient in helping to clear homes in the flood-affected areas. To assist customers, we’ve been providing them with a contents claim template, encouraging them to list and log their damaged possessions, before they’re disposed of.

Our Claims Centres in Glasgow and Cardiff will be open on Saturday and we’ll have teams of adjusters working over the New Year weekend in all the flood-affected areas.

Emergency HelpLine

Staffing of our 24/7 emergency HelpLine has been increased for today, tomorrow and across the New Year weekend. Compared to last New Year’s Day, our resources will be up by 45%. 24 Hour Emergency HelpLine: 0345 604 8580

Access and Power Issues

The utility companies have been working in all flood-affected areas to restore power to properties – this will no doubt take a few days to complete.

Severe traffic disruption in York city centre has lead to some of our adjusters taking to their bikes to get around. Access to some of the local villages also isn’t easy. Hebden Bridge is closed, for example, which is increasing traffic on the smaller B roads locally, and adding to the travel time for all involved.

Surveying Services and Oriel Restore

Our Surveying Services team are making sure that building surveyor expertise is quickly delivered where needed. Oriel Restore has also been involved in some of the larger losses, where swift action is critical to minimise reinstatement works. They’re assisting customers in listing contents, dealing with disposal, managing strip-out work and drying.

Storm Desmond

We’ve had three weeks of intense work, processing the losses that followed Storm Desmond. We continue to make sure that there’s a keen focus on the needs of these customers, keeping their claims on track to a timely and efficient conclusion.


Sadly, there have been isolated reports of looting from some flood-affected homes. Accordingly, at the triage and visit stage, customers are being advised to make sure they protect valuables/sentimental possessions.

Next Update

We’re preparing for an increase in claims numbers on Monday, once the full impact of Storms Eva and Frank becomes clear. We’ll issue a further update just as soon as further claims information is available.

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