Storm Callum triggers massive disruption as it sweeps across Wales
PARTS of Wales were drenched by more than a month’s worth of torrential rain within 48 hours as Storm Callum continued to wreak havoc. Towns are under water and homes have been evacuated as the nation has borne the brunt of the powerful storm which brought treacherous conditions to roads, rail and land.
The BBC was last night reporting that a person had died after a landslip in Carmarthenshire. It is believed the incident took place at Cwmduad on the A484 between Carmarthen and Cardigan. The road was closed after the landslip.
Rising water levels in Carmarthen meant the River Towy breached flood defences yesterday and residents and businesses were on major alert with high tide due at 10pm.
Dyfed-Powys Police tweeted: “The river Towy is in full flood. With road closures on the A40 at Llandeilo westbound towards Carmarthen and at Rhosmaen toward Llandovery due to flooding our advice is to stay indoors and do not risk journeys this evening.”
The community of Abergwili – to the east of Carmarthen – was being monitored the closest, said Carmarthenshire council.
A spokeswoman for Carmarthenshire council said: “We are urging people to stay away from flooded areas – please do not put your safety at risk. In areas affected by floods we advise you not to drive unless absolutely essential in order to help us and emergency services to deal with the situation.
Those in Aberdulais in Neath Port Talbot were ordered to evacuate their homes due to rising river levels and Crickhowell in Powys was described as an “island” after the River Usk burst its banks.
In Aberaeron, Ceredigion, several boats were lost in the harbour after a bigger than usual morning tide combined with the surging River Aeron to cause hundreds of pounds’ worth of damage.
Boat owner and keen sailor, Shane Jones, 51, a director for a pharmaceutical company, said the amount of debris the river has thrown into the harbour has had a devastating effect.
He said: “So much debris came down the river today. We’ve had a very dry summer so any rain water would be flushed off the banks and come down in one big flush today. We’ve had trees, big bales of hay, which has then become trapped in the mooring ropes and chains of the boats, pulling down the back end of the boats and increasing the chances of pulling the boats under water.”
He added: “There’s nothing you can do. You can’t get in the harbour as it’s too violent... You just have to sit it out and when the water clears and the river drops people will have the chance of getting in there.
“It’s terrible for those whose money is tied up in those boats. It’s such a shame emotionally and financially for everyone down here.”
Staff at the Cresselly Arms pub in Pont-ar-Gothi, Carmarthen, were left with no choice but to close the pub yesterday as water reached halfway up the windows.
An amber rain warning for Wales, which was in place until 6pm last night, warned of danger to life from fast-flowing, deep floodwater, power cuts, and possibly some communities being cut off.
A separate yellow weather warning lasted until 11.59pm last night, with the Met Office warning of further heavy and persistent rainfall and further flooding possible.
Libanus in Powys has had the most rain of any part of Wales in the past 48 hours, seeing 200mm of rain – well above the October average for the area, which is 146.5mm.
At Llyn-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons, 189.6mm of rain has fallen – also more than its average for the whole of October.
Tredegar has had the next highest rainfall in the past 48 hours, with 134.2mm of rain compared to an average 160mm for all of October.
There were 27 flood warnings, which warn that flooding is expected and urge immediate action, in place last night and 45 flood alerts, which warn that flooding is possible.
People were advised to take extra care and allow extra time for journeys. People were also urged to avoid walking or driving through any flood waters, and are being advised to avoid fast flowing rivers and streams and take care in coastal areas.
A Natural Resources Wales statement said: “Teams are monitoring rivers levels 24 hours a day and using information from the Met Office to forecast flood risk and will issue more Flood Warnings if necessary.”
Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said: “Storm Callum is now way to the north of the UK but the rain does still keep coming over the next 12 hours or so.”
Parts of the south and east of England escaped completely with dry conditions and temperatures in the mid-20s, with Donna Nook in Lincolnshire reaching 26.5°C.
Rising water levels made for hazardous conditions in Carmarthen
A number of boats were lost in Aberaeron harbour during Storm Callum
harbour during Storm Callum
The River Towy was out of control in Carmarthen
Flooding on the A4059 in Aberdare
Crickhowell, where the River Usk burst its banks
River water on the rise in Aberdare