Heavy rain and 87mph winds bring disruption in Wales
- 23 December 2013
- From the section Wales
Gales and heavy rain are bringing problems across Wales, with a wind speed of 87mph recorded in Conwy.
The storm has brought fallen trees and blocked roads, property damage and cancelled trains and ferries
There are six flood warnings including three on the River Usk plus others at Dolgellau, Abergwili and Osbaston in Monmouth with more than 30 alerts.
Stena Line has cancelled three ferries to Dublin this week out of Holyhead, including two on Christmas Eve.
The first cancellation is the 02:30 Stena Adventurer sailing on 24 December, followed by the 08.55 Stena Nordica sailing. The 10.30 Stena HSS sailing on 27 December is also cancelled.
Arriva Trains Wales have cancelled some rail services in mid and south Wales due to flooding.
Routes affected include Trehafod to Pontypridd, Treherbert to Cardiff Central and services between Newtown and Welshpool.
Trains between Newport and Hereford were also suspended but later resumed, although passengers have been warned to expect delays.
- In Monmouth, fire crews used a boat to rescue two people from a car trapped in flood water
- The A465 Heads of the Valleys Road has reopened after being closed between Cefn Coed and Dowlais Top near Merthyr Tydfil due to flooding
- In Conwy, the castle was closed due to high winds, while an 87mph wind speed was recorded by the Met Office at Capel Curig.
- In Carmarthenshire, a large tree blocked a road at Pontantwn and also damaged a bridge. Part of the roof had blown off a hall at Newcastle Emlyn.
- In Pembrokeshire, there were difficult driving conditions. The Cleddau Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles but reopened at 14:22 GMT Friday. An area near The Royal Lion Hotel, in Tenby, has been cordoned off.
- In Blaenau Gwent, the A4048 was closed between Blackwood and Tredegar, where in Stable Lane, a car became stuck in 460mm (18in) of water
- In Rhondda Cynon Taf, the A4059 Aberdare bypass has been closed, while the Michael Sobell Sports Centre in the town has been closed due to flooding from the River Cynon
- In Powys, the A40 was closed between Sennybridge and Halfway due to a fallen tree, and was also blocked for a time at Crickhowell. The A470 at Brecon is closed between Brynich and Bishops Meadow.
- The Waterfront Winterland attraction in Swansea shut due to the wintry weather but has since reopened
- Winter Wonderland in Cardiff remains closed
- In Caerphilly, a house in Blackwood has flooded due to blocked drains. Fire crews and council workers are working to clear the debris. The A467 at Abercarn was also flooded.
- Tredegar Park in Newport is closed due to high winds
- In Monmouthshire, the A472 was closed at Little Mill and other roads were passable with care and residents have council requests for sand bags
- In Denbighshire, the A5 was just passable between Glyndyfrdwy and Berwyn
- Flooding was also affecting the A528 between Overton and Marchwiel in Wrexham and the A539 by the Cross Foxes.
Although the 32 flood alerts are in the lowest category of warnings, two of them cover a huge stretch of coastline - the western coast of Anglesey together with the Llyn Peninsula and Cardigan Bay.
Others include the Upper Severn in Powys, the Lower Teifi in Pembrokeshire and the Usk in Newport and Monmouthshire.
Storms could see as much as 60mm (2.4in) of rain falling on higher ground on both Monday and Tuesday.
The downpours will be combined with gale to severe gale force winds and people are urged to remain vigilant.
There were restrictions on the M48 Severn Bridge and the Britannia Bridge over to Anglesey.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said the public needed to be prepared for possible flooding.
"Latest forecasts show persistent and intense rainfall is expected, continuing through to Tuesday, Christmas Eve," warned a spokesperson for NRW.
"While most parts of Wales will experience heavy rainfall at some point during the day, the worst affected areas are expected to be across the whole of south Wales, west and mid Wales.
"Following prolonged periods of heavy rainfall earlier this week, ground remains saturated, meaning that further rainfall will quickly find its way into rivers and streams.
"This is likely to lead to more flood alerts and flood warnings being issued across Wales in coming days."
The amber "be prepared" alert - the second most serious - was upgraded from a yellow rain warning issued previously.
Met Office chief forecaster Eddy Carroll said: "A deep area of low pressure will sweep an active frontal system across England and Wales on Monday.
"This will bring 20-40mm rainfall quite widely, with over 60mm likely across parts of the high ground.
"Falling onto saturated ground, this will bring the risk of both surface water and river flooding."
But the storms are expected to ease into Christmas Day.
"Looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we are expecting it to turn colder with a mix of wintry showers and sunny spells but for wind speeds to drop. So there is a chance that some places may see a White Christmas," added Mr Carroll.
However, NRW said it was urging people to remain vigilant over the coming days.
"People travelling to see family over Christmas are advised to allow extra time as driving conditions may be difficult," said a spokesperson.