Wales flooding: Rescue at flooded caravan parks
- 9 June 2012
- From the section Wales
A major rescue is under way at caravan parks in mid Wales after severe flooding.
Three people have been rescued by helicopter and police estimate 40 people have been taken to safety.
People are still trapped and numerous caravans are surrounded by flood water at the Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, near Aberystwyth.
Another 11 people are awaiting rescue from the nearby 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 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 Robin 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."
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."
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.
High winds also forced the postponement of Friday's races in the Canoe Slalom World Cup in Cardiff Bay.
Organisers of the Aberystwyth show announced on Facebook on Friday afternoon: "Unfortunately we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the show due to the weather."
In the pre-Olympic canoe event, competitors from 38 countries are due to take part at Cardiff's white water centre.
Organisers say the opening races will now be added to the weekend schedule and tickets for Friday will be valid for Saturday.