Storm Dennis: Roads in Wales 'impassable' as flood clean-up begins


In Pontypridd businesses are counting the cost of the second storm in less than two weeksImage copyright
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In Pontypridd businesses are counting the cost of the second storm in less than two weeks

Residents are counting the cost of flooding after Storm Dennis left parts of Wales under water.

Several schools have been closed and trains are cancelled after more than a month’s worth of rain fell in parts of Wales in 48 hours.

Roads remain blocked by floods and landslips on Monday and there is a yellow warning of wind for coastal areas until 11:00.

Natural Resources Wales said the scale of the flooding was “unprecedented”.

“There was 163mm of rain from Friday lunchtime to Sunday lunchtime in 48 hours, which is a huge amount of water for the rivers to deal with,” said head of operations Sian Williams.

South Wales Police declared a major incident on Sunday as rain sparked landslips and cars were submerged.

Gusts of up to 91mph (146km/h) were recorded at Aberdaron, Gwynedd.

A red weather warning – meaning there was a threat to life – was issued by the Met Office as the storm hit parts of south and mid Wales on Saturday and Sunday.

Transport for Wales urged passengers to check their journeys before they travel on Monday after a number of railway lines were damaged by the storm.

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Media captionCrickhowell was left awash with muddy water

While river levels have fallen, South Wales Police are warning people to only travel if necessary and not to go near rivers and waterways.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Gilmer said: “It’s vitally important that people still follow safety advice. Whilst things may appear to be getting better, there is still a serious risk to people and property.

“The disruption has been significant, and over the next few days there will be many people who are left dealing with the aftermath of what has been a devastating storm.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford praised those who had braved the storm to help, and has pledged extra money to local authorities facing hefty clean-up costs.

Some communities were still dealing with the aftermath of Storm Ciara when the heavy rain began, with businesses and homes damaged by flood waters for the second time in a week.

On Sunday afternoon some residents in parts of the Rhondda valley and Powys were able to start sweeping mud from buildings and streets as the water levels subsided.

Crowdfunding pages have been set up to raise money for those affected after homes, schools and businesses were damaged during the flooding.

In Powys, Llanelwedd school was flooded, with classrooms and the canteen left underwater, while the nearby Royal Welsh Showground was also deluged.

Council bosses said the bridge at Crickhowell was damaged in the floods and will remain closed until the structure is inspected later on Monday.

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Emergency services were welcomed by people stranded following the storm

At Taff’s Well, near Cardiff , an industrial estate and a nursery were submerged after the river burst its banks.

A fundraising page for the Little Friends Playgroup said they had “lost everything” and claimed people would struggle to find alternative childcare.

Meanwhile Taff’s Well rugby club said in a Facebook statement that there was “so much heartbreak and devastation” in towns and villages.

The club opened its doors for people needing a shower and free food and hot drinks, and started a collection for those being evacuated from homes.

“As a community, we need to stick together to help those who need help,” they said.

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Taff Street in Pontypridd was left underwater after heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday

Pontypridd Museum thanked people who had volunteered to help salvage artefacts, after its basement was flooded.

Also in Pontypridd, Eglwysbach’s GP surgery is likely to remain closed for some time after the practice said it was left with “significant” flood damage.

“We will be utilising our other surgeries in Tonteg and Ynysybwl in the meantime, but appreciate your understanding while we assess the consequences,” a statement on the surgery website said.

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Hien Li said she found her Pontypridd nail bar underwater on Saturday morning

Hien Li, who runs Olivia’s Nail and Beauty Bar, Pontypridd, said staff worked for seven hours on Sunday after finding the shop underwater.

“About 10 local volunteers came to help, and moved all the stuff upstairs,” she said.

“It was really bad, I felt really lost, everything we used is gone, lost.”

Jake Budd, from Energie Fitness Gym, said he watched on CCTV as flood water poured into the business in the town.

“It was quite distressing, but it could have been a lot worse for us. I know some of the shops have been up to the ceilings in their cellars [with water].”

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A man clears debris from the pavement at Aberdare in the south Wales valleys

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price is due to visit Pontypridd on Monday to meet residents and business owners dealing with the aftermath of the second storm in a week.

In Nantgarw more than 100 homes were flooded after the river burst its banks, and cars were towed away after being submerged.

In Cardiff the council is working to clear away a “significant amount of debris” which had gathered in Cardiff Bay after being swept down from the rivers.

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Emergency services and volunteers were praised for evacuating hundreds of people from their homes

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The clean-up began in Aberdare on Sunday afternoon



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