Flood chaos as torrential rain hits region


Angela Belassie, Jennifer Meierhans and Thomas Morton

YET more rain is set to fall on the region today, the Environment Agency Wales has warned.

More downpours are expected across Cheshire and North East Wales as the area continues to struggle with flooding after nearly a month’s worth of rain came in one day.

The Environment Agency warned  Chester, Flintshire and Wrexham have a medium risk of flooding today.

“Flooding is expected – be prepared,” the EA website warned.

Last night it was anticipated that 20mm of rain would fall in North Wales and residents in some specific areas were told to be on their guard against heavier bursts.

Yesterday some parts of North Wales had already recorded rainfall totals between 40mm and 55mm.

By the afternoon, there were 11 flood alerts in place but the agency warned they could rise as the heavy rain continued.

Officers on the ground have been out over the past few days in preparation clearing blockages and are continuing to check defences and culverts.

The agency also advised people not to walk through floodwaters and to report any blockages in streams or rivers to the agency immediately.

Residents are advised to keep an eye on the forecast and listen to local news bulletins for further information. Firefighters continued to work into the evening to divert water away from properties.

A crew from Deeside were called to Holly Tree Close in Ewloe at 4pm yesterday and pumped water away until 9.30pm.

Over in Pentre, Deeside, another crew started clearing water from Chester Road at 12.20pm and finished at 9.30pm.

A crew from Wrexham and another from Llangollen worked on Llangollen Road in Wrexham from 7.28pm until 9.30pm.

For the latest on flood alerts and warnings go to http://www.environmentagency.gov.uk/flood or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

Keep up-to-date with latest flooding information by following @Envagencywales on Twitter.

Action demanded as main road submerged again

A ROAD has flooded twice in “a matter of months,” leading to calls for council action.

The A548 Chester Road from Flint to Connah’s Quay flooded again after yesterday’s torrential downpour.

Oakenholt councillor Rita Johnson said the brunt of the flooding was taken by Croes Atti Lane where residents were fighting to keep their properties dry.

“It’s awful down there, they’re going to have to shut the road,” she said.

She said she was going to speak to Flintshire Council’s planning department about the matter.

“It’s twice this has happened in a matter of months, they can’t really say it’s only once a year that it might happen.”

She said nothing had been done previously as there was uncertainty over who owned the land, with some of it privately owned and some owned by the Welsh Government.

“We’ve got to find out who owns this land and something’s got to be done,” she said.

Gary Jones, landlord of The Yacht Inn on Chester Road, said: “It’s a blockage that the council didn’t sort out a couple of months ago, when it flooded then.

“I’m up to my eyes in trying to stop water from running into the pub.”

Steve Jones, head of Streetscene, said: “Two teams from the Streetscene service were called to provide assistance at the Yacht in Flint following today’s heavy rainfall. The cause of the flooding will be investigated once the weather conditions allow it.”

Plas Madoc near Wrexham was another badly hit area, with roads filled by surface water and the civic amenity site having to close early due to heavy flooding around the site.

Cllr Paul Blackwell said he had not been contacted about any properties being flooded in his ward.

Woe for villagers as garden left under water

VILLAGERS in Llay have been beset by flooding problems in recent months.

In August several homes suffered damage after flooding following torrential rain, with a further deluge later in the months causing more driveways to be filled with floodwater.

Llay councillor Malcolm Taylor yesterday said no homes had been flooded by the rain but at least three gardens on Sixth Avenue were filled with water.

One of the worst-hit residents was Janet Parry, who said the problem had been ongoing for some time.

She said: “I do not have an issue with Wrexham Council at all. They have been trying to help me.

“But my back garden keeps flooding every time we have torrential rain like this and I feel now that enough is enough.

“I just hope a solution can be found to this.”

Residents in several other communities across Wrexham reported heavy surface water on the roads or in gardens or fields as the torrential rain struck, including in Penycae, Ruabon, Caia Park and Marchwiel.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service was called to assist with a small number of incidents across the area, including helping prevent water entering homes and assisting motorists.

Householders left without electricity and fresh water as homes take brunt of storms

RESIDENTS have been left devastated after their homes were breached by floodwaters.

Some householders were left without electricity and fresh water in flood-stricken areas of Mancot following the heavy rain.

In Mancot Lane, six-months pregnant nurse Lorraine Jones had a soaked carpet and damaged furniture.

She said: “I had help moving my furniture from a Good Samaritan who was passing by, someone who works in the White Bear pub across the road.

“Next door’s house was flooded first, so I had some warning and time to move stuff.

“I rang Welsh Water straight away and they said there was a four-hour wait. But I rang back when it was within an inch of the door.”

Mrs Jones, 30, whose husband is currently serving in France in the Navy, was set to work a night-shift that evening at the Chester of Countess Hospital when she spotted the flood water rising.

She added: “It’s ruined the carpet and this is the last thing I need when I am pregnant, alone and was meant to be working the late shift.”

Plumber Robert Astley, 27, of Mancot Lane, alerted neighbours to the flooding at 8.45am and rang the Welsh Water board.

He left his pet dogs upstairs and his pet reptiles without heating as the electricity was switched off, while he tried to sweep out water.

He said: “It was safer to leave the animals upstairs as it’s not just water coming through, but sewage.

Wife Victoria, 30, said: “It could have been a lot worse, but we haven’t been able to get hold of some neighbours so we don’t know what their houses are like. We were flooded out the back a few weeks ago, but it didn’t come through to the house. The water board came out and said it shouldn’t happen again.

“I’m frustrated, angry and annoyed. The electricity is off and our possessions have been ruined. The carpet will have to come up.”

In Mancot Lane, residents were surrounded by water but it did not enter into their houses.

Reg Freeman, 85, said it had been the fourth flood within the last two years.

He said: “The water board said it had been resolved, but as soon as we get heavy rain it’s back (the flooding). I think it’s caused damage around the drive and on the paths.”

In Mold, residents watched anxiously as water rose around their flood-stricken homes.

Fire engines pumped water from the road in Cae Bracty. Harry Block, 61, who was moved out of his home there following floods in April, said: “All the rain water is coming out of the grids, the system just can’t take it. It makes me nervous and it upsets me – when it rains heavily at 5am, you have to get up.”

A spokesman for Welsh Water said flooding was an ongoing issue in Mancot Road and Mancot Lane.

She said: “We are experiencing a high volume of flooding reports across North East Wales and are dealing with incidents on a priority basis. We will be attending this incident to investigate and carry out appropriate actions.

“We are aware of the ongoing issues regarding flooding from sewers in the Mancot Road and Mancot Lane areas and are designing an investment scheme that will provide a long term solution to these problems. We will keep local people advised of developments.”

Anyone with concerns about flooding can call Welsh Water’s 24-hour operational free phone helpline on 0800 085 3968.

Residents' fury as drains overflow in to properties

RESIDENTS of homes built in recent years have vented their fury after being the victims of flooding.

Torrential rain led to water pouring into houses on Lambourne Court, Gwersyllt, as well as heavy surface water building across the housing estate and creating a nightmare for residents.

Many had to leave work early to come and deal with the flooding, with occupants of at least two properties preparing to count the cost of the damage inside their homes.

Sandbags were placed outside properties in a bid to stop the flooding spreading and residents were left desperately hoping the rain would ease off to prevent the flood problem worsening, as gardens became filled with water.

Residents said they had only moved into the homes in the last three years since being built by Redrow, but they had endured earlier problems with drains overflowing in heavy rain.

Welsh Water has said it is working with Redrow and Wrexham Council to find a solution to the problem.

One of the worst-hit residents was Bethan Wynn, 27, who had to come home from her job working at a school to try to get the situation resolved.

She discovered sewage and other waste had poured into her home after the deluge and the downstairs of her house was flooded.

“Everything has gone into the house,” said Mrs Wynn, who lives with her husband, Matthew.

“It is not just water; it is sewage and it is horrible. It is disgusting that we are being put in this position. We have already had problems with flooding since we moved in.

“We still need to see exactly how bad the damage is but the wood floor will have to come up.”

The couple’s neighbour, Gill Edwards, 46, also found water had leaked into her home.

“My carpet is sodden as a result of this, I’ve had enough,” she said. “Every time it rains this heavily we are now going to be living in fear of the damage that may be caused. We fear nobody would want to buy our homes after the problems we’ve had with flooding.”

Other residents said the flooding had reached their front doors but not got inside the properties.

Gwersyllt South and East councillor Bernie McCann visited the scene to speak to residents, who had to wear Wellingtons to wade through the flooding.

“I hope Redrow and the other organisations concerned can get around the table and help sort this out,” he said. “From Wrexham Council’s perspective, their hands are tied as the street has not been adopted yet.”

A Welsh Water spokesman said they would be attending the incident to investigate and undertake any appropriate action.

“We are aware of the ongoing issues over sewer responsibility on the development and will continue to work with the local council and Redrow to resolve such issues,” she said.

A spokesman for Wrexham Council said Streetscene officers had been to visit the area and distributed sandbags to people living in the affected homes.

Fire crews attended to help pump water away after the flooding.

A Redrow Homes (NW) spokeman said last night: “We are aware of the issue of flooding at Lambourne Court, which concerns an existing public sewer.

“We have previously made contact at the highest level with Welsh Water in an attempt to rectify the problem and continue to report issues to them. 

“We have been asked to advise homeowners to contact Welsh Water direct with any ongoing issues.”

Month's rain falls in just one day

FLOODING has ruined homes and caused chaos on roads across Flintshire after nearly a month’s worth of rain fell in a day.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the region was the worst affected area after 50mm of rain fell overnight from Sunday afternoon until yesterday.

Roads were closed on the A541 Mold to Wrexham road, on dual carriageway sections at Llong and Caergwrle and on the A5118 in Padeswood Road.

Police set up diversions through Buckley and Penyffordd and advised motorists not to make unnecessary journeys.

A police spokesman said yesterday: “Due to the levels of surface water on the roads, North Wales Police are urging motorists not to make unnecessary journeys.

“If you have to travel, please keep your speed down make sure you take account of the difficult driving conditions.”

The fire and rescue service received 28 flood-related calls since 9.30am in the morning and crews attended 19 incidents involving properties hit by flooding.

Steve Jones, head of Streetscene, said Flintshire Council had also been inundated with calls.

He said: “The rainfall has been widespread and is causing problems to road users and residents in all areas of the county.

“All available staff from the Streetscene service are providing assistance and dealing with issues as they arise. Staff have been deployed at Cae Bracty in Mold to provide assistance.”

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “At Hawarden weather station, between 3pm on Sunday, and 3pm on Monday, there was 50.2mm of rain. And 43.8mm of that has fallen since midnight on Sunday.The monthly average for Hawarden is 61.6mm.”

The public are advised to contact Enviornment Agency Wales for advice. Free service Floodline Warnings Direct provides flood warnings direct to homes at risk of flooding by telephone, mobile, email, SMS text message, fax or pager. To sign up call 0845 988 1188 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Anyone with concerns about flooding should contact Welsh Water’s 24-hour operational free phone help line on 0800 085 3968.

Share your experiences of flooding across the area on our website at www.leaderlive.co.uk or on our Facebook page.

Animal rescue centre flooded again

AN ANIMAL rescue centre has been flooded for the second time in two months.

North Clwyd Animal Rescue Centre in Trelogan, near Holywell, had to evacuate about 25 dogs yesterday when it was flooded during the torrential rain.

A torrent of water gushed through the kennels, known as the new barn, and access to the centre on Maes Gwyn was cut off by water-logged roads.

Rescue centre staff put out an emergency appeal to members of the public to ‘foster’ dogs overnight, which had been flooded out of their kennels.

Other dogs had to be put on crates inside their kennels to keep them out of the water.

Rescue centre worker John Morris said yesterday’s floods were worse than in July when about 20 dogs had to be evacuated during a heavy downpour.

“It’s worse than last time,” he said.

“We can’t get anyone in or out because the car park area is flooded. The staff can’t get in because they can’t get their cars to the car park.”

Staff and volunteers were having to be ferried in using a 4X4 to help with the rescue effort. About 25 people came forward to house animals overnight while the flood water was being cleared.

The kennels back onto a farmer’s field and the water flows down off the fields.

Kevin Franz and Celina Ryles took in four-year-old Sasha, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Mr Franz, a security worker from Rhyl, said he spotted the appeal for help on the rescue centre’s Facebook page.

He said: “I’m glad to look after her -anything to help.”

Amanda Emmerson, who volunteers at the centre, is taking three-year-old Ned home. She said: “I often walk Ned and it will be nice to get him dry and warm, with a lovely bedroom to sleep in.”

And Andrea and Dominic Andrews, from Wrought Iron Flint, will be taking Staffordshire Bull Terrier Ally home.

The couple, who have bred King Charles Spaniels and have previously taken in pets from the animal centre, said they will look after the dog until it is safe to return.

The last flooding incident fell on the day the rescue centre was due to hold its annual dog show.

The postponed event was held instead on Sunday.

Mr Morris added: “Believe it or not last time it happened was when we had to cancel the dog show and yesterday (Sunday) we had the dog show - it’s a bit of a bad omen.”

Rescue centre workers will be left with a huge clean up operation when the rain water clears.

Anyone who can help with the clean-up or who can donate blankets should call 01745560546 or go to www.ncar.org.uk

Floods timeline

Firefighters were called out to Llanfynydd at 9.40am yesterday and helped a motorist to safety after their car stuck in floodwater.

At about 12.20pm, crews attended Chester Road, Pentre, to help keep floodwater at bay from a row of terraced houses, with properties in nearby Willow Road also reportedly affected.

Crews attended shortly after noon in Cae Bracty, Mold, to deal with flooding outside properties.

Residents got stuck in a caravan as water surrounded them in Chester Road, Oakenholt, shortly after 1pm. Crews from Wrexham and Rhyl went to Glantraeth Farm.

A fire and rescue spokesman said: “It was a caravan with a man and a woman inside and water was rising around them. We went to their assistance. There’s a stream nearby, which was overflowing, so we have been diverting the water there. They decided to stay inside the caravan.”

At 1.30pm crews were called out to Ffordd Ganol Sychdyn, Mold, because of flooding at the end of the road. Firefighters advised residents on the use of sandbags and Welsh Water was also in attendance.

At about 2pm firefighters were called to Bryn Gwyn Lane, Northop Hall, to drain a flooded field.

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