Wales flooding: Warnings as flood victims return

Residents Stephanie Lennon and Geoff Jones say what happened in Llanbadarn, Ceredigion

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Residents evacuated by floods in mid Wales have been warned to be careful when returning to their homes.

About 1,000 people were moved to safety on Saturday, with an estimated 150 rescued, many from caravan parks.

Villages in Ceredigion were flooded by up to 5ft (1.5m) of water and fire crews pumping out remaining water say properties have suffered damage and the water may contain hazards.

Meanwhile, a caravan park owner claims some vans were broken into overnight.

Andy Francis, of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "There's mass scale damage to caravan parks and indeed, more importantly really, to private dwellings throughout the area.

Contaminants

"A lot of flood water's gone through them, leaving a huge amount of damage, and a residual danger as well from the biohazards, from sewerage, and other contaminants that have entered the waters.

Map of areas affected by flooding

"Lots of sewers may have been damaged, and indeed gas and water supplies damaged, so my advice to anybody entering their properties this morning is to take sensible precautions.

"Make sure your gas and electricity are checked, preferably turned off now, and checked by qualified persons before you actually reactivate them.

"Take sensible precautions and protection against the biohazards from possible contaminants that may have entered the water during the flood period."

As fire crews continue to pump out, a flood warning remains on the River Teifi, at Lampeter and Llanybyther.

The areas worst affected in the early hours of Saturday were Talybont, Dol-y-bont, Llandre, and Penrhyncoch - all in Ceredigion.

Start Quote

Caravans have been broken into, we've now got to make them secure because of the people's possessions”

End Quote Stephen South Riverside Caravan Park owner

Machynlleth, in Powys, was also flooded and roads in surrounding areas were closed.

Caravan parks and villages near Aberystwyth were inundated by floodwater when twice as much rain fell in 24 hours than normally falls in the area in the whole of June.

'Very emotional'

The RNLI's flood rescue teams helped people to safety at Aberystwyth Holiday Village and rescues also happened at Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, near Aberystwyth, Mill House Caravan Park at Dol-y-bont, also in Llandre, Sea Rivers caravan park, Ynyslas, and Glanlerry Caravan Park, near Borth.

More than 100 caravans and tents at the Riverside Caravan Park were flooded, according to the Environment Agency Wales.

Stephen South, the park's owner, said it was a "very emotional" time for those whose caravans were flooded.

The bride - Ceri Jones - arrives at chapel in Talybont, 24 hours late, thanks to the flood

"They've lost all their possessions as far as their holiday homes are concerned.

"You can see the devastation of the site as well. It's going to take a lot of putting back together but hopefully we can do it as soon as we possibly can and do everything we can for the customers.

"Because of the problem where the caravans have been broken into, we've now got to make them secure because of the people's possessions, whereby that problem wasn't here yesterday."

'Devastating'

Residents in 25 properties were evacuated in Talybont, and 10 houses flooded in the town of Penrhyncoch.

A chapel wedding, delayed for 24 hours, by flood water finally went ahead.

Dylan and Ceri Jones tied the knot at Bethel Chapel, Talybont, the day after their intended wedding had to be called off because of flooding in the area.

The groom is the brother of Wales rugby prop Rhodri Jones, who is on tour in Australia and was forced to miss the service.

The clean-up is also underway in Parc yr Onnen.

Resident Stephanie Lennon said: "It's just devastating, there's nothing really we could do.

"The house is an absolute mess, it's full of debris. Some cars are still under water, but we'll get there in the end."

Owen Eldridge praised the emergency services for their work, but also for saving some of the goldfish that had escaped from his pond.

Two of Owen Eldrige's fish were rescued by fire crews Two of Owen Eldridge's fish were rescued by fire crews

"They were apparently swimming on the estate and the firemen were chasing them and here they are," he said.

"I was told about these two so I have rescued them. They've had a lucky escape which is more than my house has."

While the water levels are subsiding, the fire service is urging people to stay away from it.

Mr Francis added: "Please do not go near the water, it's still extremely dangerous, and don't try to drive through it either, because you will end up becoming a casualty and requiring rescue."

Asked about four youths who had taken to a dinghy and had to be helped, he said: "Some people have thought that it was an opportunity to have some extreme sports, it's not an extreme sport, it's extremely dangerous, you are likely to lose your life.

"Yesterday we ended up having to despatch a helicopter and rescue crews for what could have been avoided."

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