RES­I­DENTS EVAC­U­ATED AS RIVER LEVEL RISES

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - KATIE BELLIS AND KATIE SANDS Re­porters news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

RES­I­DENTS in a vil­lage where homes were or­dered to be evac­u­ated over river level fears have seen the area’s worst flood­ing in 20 years. Those liv­ing in Aber­du­lais, a Neath Port Tal­bot vil­lage, were or­dered to evac­u­ate their homes on Fri­day night due to ris­ing river lev­els.

Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales said Canal Side and nearby com­mer­cial prop­er­ties in Aber­du­lais were sub­ject to a flood warn­ing, with the warn­ing in­clud­ing the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion club, Rail­way Tav­ern and Calor Gas de­pot – with warn­ings yes­ter­day that river lev­els would re­main high. Some res­i­dents evac­u­ated their homes, while oth­ers have seen wa­ter flood their houses.

Pic­tures show river lev­els in­cred­i­bly high and close to bridges above, gar­dens and streets filled with wa­ter, and homes with wa­ter dam­age in­side.

Aber­du­lais Coun­cil­lor Doreen Jones said around 30 peo­ple were at the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion yes­ter­day af­ter be­ing evac­u­ated from their homes in Aber­du­lais on Fri­day night.

She said: “My phone hasn’t stopped ring­ing overnight, the un­der path is flooded and the golf range is also flooded, around seven to eight homes cur­rently have wa­ter in them but it’s started to rain again now.

“It’s been 20 years since the last floods here; every­one is man­ag­ing well and get­ting on with it, the emer­gency ser­vices are around to help.”

Paul Ed­wards, a res­i­dent in Canal Side, said: “From 3.30am this morn­ing wa­ter started com­ing into the house. It has come from un­der­neath the rail­way track, I must have emp­tied around 100 bowls of wa­ter out­side.

“I can’t stop it from com­ing in the house, the back gar­den is flooded there’s about a foot deep of wa­ter. There’s noth­ing we can re­ally do about it.”

Stephen Hall, a res­i­dent in the nearby vil­lage of Tonna, said: “Neath town cen­tre is OK but the river is ex­tremely high in Aber­du­lais.

“The road to get in to Tonna from Aber­du­lais is blocked, the river is over the road so you can’t get through that way.

“Res­i­dents in Canal Side have got wa­ter on their ground floors and are re­fer­ring to them­selves as liv­ing on an is­land.

“It’s prob­a­bly the first time in 20 years that the flood de­fences have failed. Last night’s river level just over­whelmed it.

“Canal Side used to flood ev­ery win­ter but in re­cent years ef­fort has been put in to im­prove the flood de­fences down there.

“It’s been 20 years since it was this bad. Now hope­fully the lev­els will be­gin to drop.

“The last time it hap­pened the Canal Side res­i­dents were de­camped to the Le­gion, as it’s a bit higher up there.”

It came as one Welsh town was de­scribed as an is­land yes­ter­day af­ter res­i­dents awoke to find streets flooded and the River Usk flow­ing haz­ardously high.

Roads in Crick­how­ell were cor­doned off by emer­gency ser­vices as many were com­pletely flooded. To­day’s front page pic­ture is of a car half sub­merged in wa­ter in the town.

Po­lice warned peo­ple to stay away from the area for their own safety.

Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales said its emer­gency re­sponse teams had been work­ing through the night to de­ploy pumps, close flood gates in places like Aberg­wili and sup­port­ing emer­gency ser­vices. They have de­ployed sand­bags in the vil­lage of Aber­du­lais in at­tempts to di­vert wa­ter and pro­tect homes from flood­ing.

Sioned War­rell, NRW’s duty tac­ti­cal man­ager, said: “We have seen a sig­nif­i­cant amount of rain over the last 24 hours and this will con­tinue to­day. We have al­ready seen this im­pact on the roads and we could see more flood­ing as the rain flows down from the moun­tains.

“Mak­ing sure you know what the sit­u­a­tion is like where you live is re­ally im­por­tant. You can check our web­site or call Flood­line on 0345 988 1188 for any Flood Warn­ings that may be in place and keep an eye on weather re­ports and lo­cal news for de­tails of any dis­rup­tion in your area.

“Our teams are do­ing all they can to re­duce the risk for com­mu­ni­ties, but if there is flood­ing we want to make sure peo­ple are do­ing all they can to keep them­selves safe.”

Mean­while, the storm even saw wa­ter lev­els in Cardiff Bay rise enough to sub­merge walk­ways near the Pier­head build­ing.

The wa­ter lev­els rose above five me­tres yes­ter­day morn­ing and

PICASA

A flooded Cardiff Bay yes­ter­day

Res­i­dents of Canal Side, Aber­du­lais, were evac­u­ated af­ter ris­ing wa­ter lev­els flooded

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