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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 August, 2004, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
'We're going to need millions'
By Jenny Matthews
BBC News Online in Boscastle

Cars stranded in Boscastle after flood
Some car owners may not be covered
As the clean-up operation continues in Boscastle and people start to trickle back home, the enormity of the overall financial damage to homes and businesses is just starting to sink in.

Tourism is a mainstay of the Cornish village's economy and the flood came at the height of the holiday season.

Few visitors are likely to venture to the village's centre and the harbour over the next few months.

Graham Facks-Martin, vice-chairman of North Cornwall Council, estimated that several million pounds would be needed for relief and reconstruction in the village.

"There's going to be a need for a very large amount of money," he said.

Car insurance

One newspaper put the total at 50m.

Mr Facks-Martin said he thought not that much would be needed - but the amount would nonetheless be substantial.

"Obviously, we are certainly talking well into seven figures, well over 1m and probably several million," he said.

Some of this would be covered by insurance and funding from public bodies but much hardship could be caused by problems not covered by either, he said.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles has offered a donation
"For instance, if your car got washed into the harbour and you had fully comprehensive cover, presumably you would be OK. But if you only had third party insurance you wouldn't be covered at all.

"That's just one example but there are lots and lots of examples of things insurance won't cover."

A number of business premises - estimated to be as many as 25 - have been destroyed by the flooding.

Some of the businesses have been very severely affected and in some cases the insurance won't cover it
Graham Facks-Martin, North Cornwall Council
"Cash flow has gone, employees will be displaced and the village could lose as much as 25m in the next eight to 12 weeks on business lost," the chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, Tim Young, estimated.

An appeal fund has been jointly set up by local officials and the British Red Cross - which has already donated 10,000.

The Red Cross and local people between them would decide how to divide the money up, Mr Facks-Martin said.

The money would potentially go to people not only in Boscastle but also nearby Crackington Haven and Bude which were also hit by flooding.

"Some of the businesses have been very severely affected and in some cases the insurance won't cover it," he said.

"I would hope that the trustees of any fund will look favourably on genuine applications from businesses which have been dramatically affected."

North Cornwall Flood Appeal c/o British Red Cross, Rotherham, S98 1ZA

Tel: 0870 163 3823

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