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Wales flooding: Major rescue under way after flooding

Category: Wales

Published: 9th Jun 2012 11:04:31

A major rescue is under way in mid Wales after severe flooding overnight.

Villages in Ceredigion have been cut off with houses and caravan parks being flooded. Emergency services have helped at least 79 people to safety with three being rescued by helicopter.

Heavy rainfall in the area continues and there are fears the situation may worsen with the high tide at around midday.

Roads around the area have also been flooded hampering rescue efforts.

People remain trapped on the upper floors of homes affected by flooding. Emergency services are prioritising getting the elderly and those who live in bungalows to safety.

Caravan parks have also been badly affected.

The worse affected areas are Talybont, Dol-y-bont, Llandre, Penrhyncoch all in Ceredigion.

Machynlleth in Powys has also been flooded with some flooding reported as far as north Wales.

Rescues have happened at Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, near Aberystwyth, Mill House Caravan Park at Dol-y-Bont, also in Llandre.

Residents in 25 properties have also been evacuated in Talybont, a nearby village hit by severe flooding.

Ten houses have been flooded in the town of Penrhyncoch. One person has been rescued and another is waiting for an ambulance.

Royal Air Force Sea King helicopters, inshore lifeboats and fire service rescue boats are at the Riverside.

The RNLI's Borth inshore lifeboat and specialist flood rescue team have been deployed to help holidaymakers trapped in a flooded caravan site on the side of the River Lery near Borth.

The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "There is large amount of water and a heavy current running through the caravan park."

The situation became so severe that a helicopter was used to rescue the crew of an inshore lifeboat, who had to be winched to safety.

Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Inspector Robyn Mason said the numbers of those rescued will "probably run into the hundreds".

"There are two or three caravan parks, I'm aware of about 30 to 40 people evacuated from various places, there are probably more," he said.

"When caravan parks have about two foot of water, people have been able to make their own way in an orderly manner. Since dawn, a lot of people have decided to leave by their own accord.

"We have emergency rescue teams in the area with inflatables, and we are in the process of evacuating people."

He said rescue teams are taking people trapped in their homes to safety with the elderly and those living in bungalows taking priority.

An emergency rest centre has been set up for people and roads are closed in the area.

The areas of Aberystwyth, north Aberystwyth towards Machynlleth are worse affected, he said.

He said high tide was due later this morning.

Pat Edwards, 56, whose partner runs Mill House Caravan Park, said they had not seen flooding like it in 50 years.

She said: "The helicopter has come over and offered to rescue us. At the moment we've got three families here. One is staying in their caravan and two couples are upstairs with us.

"We've got an escape route planned if necessary, if we need to we can climb up the bank and get picked up by the helicopter."

Jason Hughes from Dol-y-bont said: "The water is above my waistline at 6ft 3in.

"It's stopped raining now but we are still very much flooded. It's just slightly gone down a little bit but not much at all."

Penri James from Talybont said: "It is quite serious, there is only a single narrow track coming up from Riverside caravan park.

"It's a blind hidden valley and difficult to get access to.

"I'm quite concerned for the people there. When the river comes out there, it comes out with a vengeance."

Sam Ebenezer, also from Talybont, added: "Everyone is just devastated and amazed with the amount of water that's flowing through the river.

"I've never seen the river as high as it has been. It cam as a shock to everybody."

Mike Barber's house in Capel Bangor was flooded and emergency services had to break a hole in his door to let the water out.

He said: "I've just decorated it all and had a new carpet. I'm mentally and physically exhausted."

The Environment Agency Wales said this was an "unprecedented event" for Ceredigion.

It has warned people not to go near swollen rivers.

Paula Colley who was staying at the Maes Bangor caravan park said that as flood water rose, people on the site were able to make their way to safety.

"We were able to use the other entrance to leave and a tractor picked us up to take us to the community centre," she said.

"The water didn't get into our caravan but my mum's caravan is closer to the river and she had lots of water underneath hers."

Fierce summer storms have hit large parts of Wales, with 60mph gales and heavy rain hitting the south and west.

The weather has forced the cancellation of a major agricultural event, Saturday's Aberystwyth and Ceredigion County Show.

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BBC News, 2012. Wales flooding: Major rescue under way after flooding [Online] (Updated 9th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1433604/Wales-flooding-Major-rescue-under-way-after-flooding [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

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