Town’s flood-hit busi­nesses call for faster ac­tion

Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

A TOWN has been de­scribed as “flooded and for­got­ten,” with a busi­ness that lost £20,000 worth of stock hit­ting out over “months of in­ac­tiv­ity.”

On Novem­ber 22, parts of Llangefni were sub­merged un­der sev­eral feet of wa­ter after the river Cefni burst its banks.

Natural Re­sources Wales (NRW) and An­gle­sey Coun­cil pledged to work to­gether to stop sim­i­lar in­ci­dents from re­cur­ring. But over two months on, one busi­ness owner says it’s “only a mat­ter of time” un­til such in­ci­dents are re­peated, blam­ing a lack of ac­tion by those re­spon­si­ble.

NRW has ar­ranged a Llangefni drop-in event on Fe­bru­ary 12, giv­ing res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers the chance to give feed­back and find out more about their plans.

But Neil Be­van, who runs Be­vans Car­a­van and Camp­ing Sup­plies, says his busi­ness has cu­mu­la­tive losses of £22,000 fol­low­ing the floods, and can­not get con­tents in­surance un­til the sit­u­a­tion is re­solved.

“This lat­est flood has ba­si­cally left us with noth­ing in the bank, ev­ery penny we’d saved and worked for has now been lost,” he said. “This can’t keep go­ing on and be­ing ig­nored.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Be­van, who took over eight years ago, he now fears flood­ing ev­ery time it rains, rais­ing con­cerns over a de­fen­sive wall that was washed away due to the sheer force of the flood wa­ter.

The is­land’s AM Rhun ap Ior­w­erth has wel­comed a del­e­ga­tion of af­fected busi­ness own­ers.

He said: “Busi­ness own­ers and res­i­dents in Llangefni need to know ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble is be­ing done as quickly as pos­si­ble, to avoid sim­i­lar scenes.

“I fear that Novem­ber’s floods could have been avoided if pre­ven­ta­tive ac­tion had taken place be­fore­hand - I know, for ex­am­ple, An­gle­sey Coun­cil asked NRW to pri­ori­tise the area fol­low­ing flood­ing a few years ago. We can’t af­ford fur­ther de­lays. ”

An NRW spokesper­son said: “NRW is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the flood­ing caused by the Afon Cefni. The re­sults will con­trib­ute to the re­port to be pub­lished by An­gle­sey Coun­cil. Based on this, we will plan the next steps in­clud­ing mod­el­ling the river and its sur­round­ings and look­ing at pos­si­ble op­tions to re­duce the risk.”

Keith Ivens, NRW’s Flood Risk Man­ager, added: “We em­pathise with the peo­ple who were af­fected by flood­ing two months ago.

“Our teams have been col­lect­ing in­for­ma­tion and the drop-in ses­sions are an op­por­tu­nity for us to make sure we’ve cap­tured every­one’s ex­pe­ri­ences and in­for­ma­tion. We will need to look in de­tail at a wide range of things such as flood warn­ings, stor­ing wa­ter up­stream along­side more tra­di­tional op­tions such as hard de­fences.

“In the short-term, we’ve car­ried out work on the Cefni to help wa­ter flow away more quickly. While we can’t pre­vent all flood­ing we will ex­plore all the op­tions to re­duce the risks.”

The drop-in ses­sions are in Plas Arthur, Llangefni on 12 Fe­bru­ary (3pm - 7pm) and Ys­gol Dwyran (5pm – 7pm) on 19 Fe­bru­ary.

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