NEW figures have provided a stark insight into the scale of the damage caused by Boxing Day’s devastating floods in Leeds.
Emergency response chiefs yesterday said as many as 1,000 businesses in the city and the rest of West Yorkshire were caught up in the chaos unleashed by Mother Nature.
They also confirmed the flooding was the worst to hit parts of the county in 70 years.
Accountancy firm PwC, meanwhile, said December’s floods and rainfall could cost the UK’s economy as much as £2.8bn.
Insured losses across the country are estimated at between £1bn and £1.4bn.
The recovery effort in Leeds and surrounding areas is being spearheaded by the West Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (WYLRF).
The forum is made up of the emergency services, the county’s five local authorities and key partners such as the Environment Agency and the military.
In a statement, the WYLRF said: “Support for business remains a key priority, with manufacturing and other businesses in Leeds and Calderdale particularly badly affected, and numbers potentially approaching 1,000 when local businesses occupying multi-tenancy properties are taken into account.
“Local authorities are continuing urgent work with the Environment Agency and other partners to assess the damage and identify those affected and are appealing for anyone who has not yet been in touch to contact them.
“Efforts to quantify the numbers and financial impact of the floods more accurately are an important focus for the coming week so that help can be directed to where it is most needed – as well as keeping the public informed.”
Areas of Leeds that were hit hard by the floods included Kirkstall and Stourton as well as parts of the city centre along the River Aire. About 1,000 homes in the city were affected.