Wales flooding: Residents left devastated by floods

Riverside Caravan Park  in Llandre, near Aberystwyth The scene at Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, near Aberystwyth

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Residents caught up in severe overnight flooding in mid Wales have spoken of the speed the floods hit.

Villages in Ceredigion have been cut off with houses and four caravan parks being flooded.

Emergency services have helped at least 150 people to safety with several being rescued by helicopter.

Stephen South, owner of Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, near Aberystwyth, described the situation as "very, very frightening".

'Surprising'

"I've lived on Riverside for 22 years but I've never witnessed anything like this before.

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We have nothing. The only clothes we have is what we're standing up in, but we're safe and that's all that matters”

End Quote Christine Roberts Dol-y-bont

"The surprising thing is I've seen rain worse than this but nothing of this nature has gone on.

"There was some problem 40 years ago, then the water board or river board put these flooding embankments in place.

"It seems over the last 10 years, less and less work has been done on the rivers which adds to this sort of problems."

A spokesman for Environment Agency Wales responded: "The flood banks on the Leri near the Riverside Caravan Park are in a good condition and we had recently completed a programme of works to refurbish them - but the rainfall levels meant the river rose so quickly that they were overtopped."

Mr South added that his site was "devastated" but praised the emergency services for helping to rescue those staying at the park.

He said: "It was roughly 2.30am when there were signs of water gathering on the site... and it all seemed to happen so quickly - the depth of the water and the strength of it.

"We started knocking on caravan doors and trying to get the people away.

"Everyone has thankfully got away safely thanks to all the crews, they were fantastic. Without them we could have had some serious problems.

"The site is just devastated but the main concern originally was the people of course."

Flooding in Talybont Emergency services are in the process of rescuing people trapped in their homes because of the floods

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.

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We tried to stop the water coming in from the back but the current was far too strong”

End Quote Mike Barber Capel Bangor

"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."

The worse affected areas were Talybont, Dol-y-bont, Llandre, Penrhyngoch all in Ceredigion.

Machynlleth in Powys was also flooded.

People were trapped on the upper floors of homes affected by flooding while some have made it to higher ground where they are being looked after.

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

He said: "My next door neighbour woke me at quarter-to-five this morning and said I'd better try and move my car but I couldn't get to it.

"We tried to stop the water coming in from the back but the current was far too strong and it's overwhelmed the three cottages coming right through.

"I'm devastated, shocked. I've just decorated it all and had a new carpet.

The door of Mike Barber's home is broken to let water out The door of Mike Barber's home in Capel Bangor is broken to let water out

"People who have lived here for years say they've never seen anything like it. Everyone is just gutted. They never expected it.

"I'm mentally and physically exhausted. I spent the night in the cottage upstairs but I've been trying to stop the water coming in and salvage a few things and put them upstairs."

Christine Roberts from Dol-y-bont was woken by a neighbour and had "a few minutes" to leave her bungalow before being taken to a rescue centre where about 100 others are.

"[My home] is totally flooded, everything is gone, everything is ruined." she said.

"We have nothing. The only clothes we have is what we're standing up in, but we're safe and that's all that matters."

'Amazed'

Sam Ebenezer, also from Talybont, was helping to look after some neighbours and friends from the village.

He said: "We are safe because we are on high ground.

"It's devastating to see close friends whose houses are getting soaked all the way through.

"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 came as a shock to everybody."

Dol-y-bont resident Jason Hughes: "I've seen it high but nothing like this"

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