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Poland's Flood Damage Could Exceed $3B

Posted on 21 May 2010

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Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that flood damage in the southern part of the country may exceed 10 billion zloty ($3 billion) after heavy rain swelled the Vistula River to its highest level in 160 years.

The government will seek financial aid from European Union funds aimed at helping cover the costs as "kilometers of levees will have to be repaired or rebuilt," Tusk told lawmakers today.

Fiat SpA, the carmaker that is Poland’s second-largest exporter, suspended production at its plant in Tychy for a second day after supplies of windshields from a local producer were disrupted, Boguslaw Cieslar, a spokesman for Fiat Auto Poland SA said by phone. Output is unlikely to resume today or tomorrow, he said.

PZU SA, Poland’s largest insurer, received about 15,500 claims between May 15 and yesterday evening, spokesman Michal Witkowski told Bloomberg. That compares with 16,600 claims in June and July last year, when the company paid out about 70 million zloty ($21 million) in compensation for flood damage.