By Daniel Hunter

With thousands of homes under the threat of flooding and many already affected, homeowners and businesses are this week facing up to huge bills.

The cost to the Oxfordshire economy alone will run into many millions of pounds, says Thames Valley accountants and business advisers James Cowper.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by property flooding. Oxfordshire’s communities, emergency services, County Council and the Government agencies are doing a first class job of coping with all the challenges being thrown at them," Sue Staunton, a Partner in James Cowper’s Oxford office said.

"We should also be proud of local businesses, which are in many cases striving to ensure business as usual. A number of our staff, for example, have been struggling to get in and have taken on long journeys to the office, and I know that other businesses are in the same position.

“Based on the impact of the 2007 floods and evidence all around, there can be no doubt that the impact on householders and business in Oxfordshire will run to tens of millions of pounds. The floods that year cost the country £3.2 billion and we should expect the economic impact to be substantial again.

“As an Oxford business we are seeing how the damage is being felt across the board and news of river levels still rising is putting people on tenterhooks that things will become worse. Retailers, restaurants and pubs in the City are suffering. With roads closed, schools shut and parents having to stay at home, countless flooded fields, and lost productivity due to businesses abandoning, it will take many months to calculate the precise economic cost to the county.”

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