/Flood-hit areas braced for more rain

Flood-hit areas braced for more rain

Members of the mountain rescue team in MonmouthImage copyright
Getty Images

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Flood warnings remain in force for some rivers in Wales

Flood-hit communities are braced for more heavy rain as the clean-up continues in the aftermath of Storm Dennis.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged after river levels hit record highs in parts of south and mid Wales.

Another yellow weather warning for rain and numerous flood warnings are in place for Wednesday.

They cover areas where hundreds of homes have already been evacuated following the “unprecedented” flooding.

The Met Office yellow warning for rain – which means there is a chance flooding could occur – is in place from 15:00 GMT on Wednesday until 14:00 on Thursday.

A Welsh Government summit is being held with councils and other agencies.

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Met Office

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The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of rain for Wednesday and Thursday

There are five flood warnings in force in Wales, meaning flooding is expected and immediate action required.

Four of those in Monmouthshire with another in Llangollen, Denbighshire. There is also one alert for flooding in south Pembrokeshire – due to high river levels.

Natural Resources Wales said 163mm (6.5in) of rain had fallen in the 48 hours between lunchtime on Friday and Sunday and described the scale of flooding as “unprecedented”.

It said engineers had been checking flood defences and carrying out urgent repairs and clearing blockages, and were prepared for the further rain following weeks of bad weather.

Sandbags have been dropped in Llanhilleth and Cwm in Blaenau Gwent, with the council saying workers were prepared to clear fallen trees and roads hit by recent flooding.

Parts of the south Wales Valleys were badly hit, and major clean-up operations are continuing in communities including Pontypridd, while Taff’s Well, and Nantgarw were also badly affected.

Hundreds of people are staying in a community centre, hotels or with friends after river levels reached record highs in Monmouth on Tuesday.

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Welsh Water

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The water treatment works were left inaccessible after river levels rose to record highs in Monmouth

Water levels on the River Usk remain high with standing flood water still posing a potential danger, the council has said.

Rhondda council said there were concerns about potential job losses on the Treforest Industrial Estate where up to 400 businesses were affected by flooding, including a brewery and a factory producing food for the bakers Greggs.

Water bottle stations were set up in Monmouth after fears hundreds of homes could be left without supply after Welsh Water’s treatment site was flooded.

On Wednesday, engineers gained access to the Mayhill site to access the damage.

Managing director Peter Perry said engineers would be working “around the clock” to fix the damage, but it could take up to 48 hours to get the plant up and running.

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Getty Images

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Cars abandoned due to the flooding of the River Wye in Monmouth are being recovered

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John Bell

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A freight container hit a bridge in Treforest before eventually being swept underneath and down the river

In Treforest, Rhondda Cynon Taff, a footbridge remains closed for safety reasons after it was hit by a freight container swept down the River Taff on Sunday.

The Prince of Wales is due to visit Pontypridd on Friday to speak to home owners who were forced to leave their properties when the floods hit – and the rescuers who saved them from the rising waters.

But people have been warned not to risk their safety during the clean-up.

South Wales Fire and Rescue said some people had been using gas powered heaters to dry out their flooded homes and businesses, which could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

‘Dirt, damage and despair’

BBC reporter Nicky Smith reports from Treforest

I have spent the morning on Treforest Industrial estate and what I witnessed was dirt, damage and despair.

In the businesses I spoke to, they are only just beginning to understand the financial cost of Storm Dennis and in each one I stopped at, they talked of it running to thousands of pounds.

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Harry Singh, who owns the Welsh Shop, said his stock stored in the industrial estate had been ruined in the middle of the Six Nations

But in all the mess, there is one very clear message. They will do everything in their power to stay open for business.

Harry Singh, who owns the Welsh Shop which stores its stock here, showed me piles of merchandise ruined by the flood water – he believes he has lost up to £400,000 worth of stock.

The impact is even worse as this is one of their busiest times, in the middle of the Six Nations, and he has not been able to fulfil online orders.

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Paul Cooper’s home was damaged when a roof was swept into his garden from about 400m away

A couple whose home was damaged and a roof was swept into their garden during the floods, told me they would not be able to return home for up to 18 months.

Paul Cooper said they felt a bit lost following the news and, like many others, hoped for good news soon.

‘It could be months before people can go home’

BBC reporter Matt Murray in Pontypridd and Nantgarw

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Lynn Davies said the damage was “absolutely soul destroying”

Roads are now crowded with skips, tractors and trailers clearing debris, rubbish and cars that have been written-off.

There’s a realisation by those affected just how life-changing this will be for them.

Self-employed builder Lynn Davies had just finished refurbishing his home when it was flooded and all his tools and van, which he needs to work, were also ruined.

He is now living in a hotel with his family and dogs and says it may be five months before they can return home.

There’s also anger here as people feel they were alerted too late to the risk of the flood waters hitting their homes.

‘Community spirit in action’

BBC reporter Rhys Williams from Ystradgynlais

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Engineers are surveying the damage on the Teddy Bear Bridge in Ystradgynlais, Powys, after part of the bridge collapsed on Tuesday

The so- called Teddy Bear Bridge – so-called as the old bridge was so rickety, miners teetering across it to get to work looked like teddy bears – is one of the victims of the heavy rain in Ystradgynlais.

The more modern bridge is still standing, but there’s a huge crack in the wall and the structure has buckled considerably.

The storm has also caused flooding, for residents in Ystalyfera, where the community is banding together and reminding people of the “good old days” when everyone pitched in together to help out.

On Wednesday residents were in their third day of clearing out the downstairs of their homes into bags to be collected by the council.

Lenny Jenkins has spent the day clearing out his home, ruined by the water. Like the rest of his street he says, has no insurance, as no company will “go near us.”

Most of his neighbours have been re-housed by the council. He’s worried the community in the area is going to suffer as people leave the street.

Travel disruption

The storms caused cancellations and delays for drivers and rail passengers, with roads blocked by floods and landslips.

A number of roads around Wales remain closed following the floods at the weekend and train services remain seriously affected with a number of lines closed due to track damage.

Transport for Wales has also warned journeys may take “significantly longer”, with bus replacement services also affected by flooding, while Network Rail said they were doing everything they could to reopen lines as soon and as safely as they can.

“The rail network is significantly damaged in places and with additional damage to roads and limited replacement road transport available to us, it’s inevitable that some services will be subject to disruption which will result in delays and cancellations,” said customer delivery director, Bethan Jelfs.

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