Flood damage costs in Wales will run into millions

Conwy's estimated repair costs for flood damage of £5m is the highest so far

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The cost of repairing the damage caused by recent storms and high tides around Wales is expected to cost councils £8m, BBC Wales has found.

The estimated bill is expected to be listed in Natural Resources Wales' (NRW) review of coastline damage.

NRW will hand its report, based on estimates from councils, to the Welsh government on Friday.

Of the worst-hit areas, Conwy's estimated repair costs of £5m is the highest so far.

The Welsh government has allocated £2m to help with repairs after bad weather and high tides battered Wales' coastline in December and early January, with a wind speed of 87mph recorded in Conwy two days before Christmas.

New defences

Annual council spending on coast defence maintenance/repairs

  • Anglesey £15,000
  • Carmarthenshire £370,000
  • Ceredigion £217,000
  • Conwy £125,000
  • Gwynedd £120,000
  • Pembrokeshire £117,000

Source: Local authorities

A review was ordered by Natural Resources Minister Alun Davies to assess the impact on hundreds of miles of coastline.

BBC Wales has received responses from six local authorities affected by the storms - each of which already spends tens of thousands of pounds every year on defending coastal areas from erosion and flooding.

Conwy estimated repair costs of £5m, while Pembrokeshire will need to spend £500,000.

In Ceredigion - where hundreds of residents on Aberystwyth's seafront were evacuated during the storms at the start of the month - the council said it was spending at least £1.5m.

It is also designing and planning new coastal defences for Aberystwyth, which could cost millions of pounds, and it will ask the Welsh government for help.

Start Quote

... retaining the promenade won't provide the level of protection that we need for the future and so... something has to be done here”

End Quote Rhodri Llwyd Ceredigion council

Rhodri Llwyd, coast and rivers engineer for Ceredigion council, said he hoped a detailed plan for coastal defences for Aberystwyth would be drawn up within 12 months.

Options could include an offshore breakwater or reef, or increasing the height of the promenade wall.

The final cost will depend on which option is chosen, and what surveys reveal, but could well be in the region of £10m-£20m.

Mr Llwyd said: "I think retaining the promenade won't provide the level of protection that we need for the future and so... something has to be done here."

Gwynedd councillors estimate their repair bill will be around £800,000, while Anglesey council estimates £100,000.

Carmarthenshire faces a relatively minor repair bill of £28,000.

The NRW report will be sent to the minister on Friday. It is not known when the report will be published, or when the Welsh government will respond.

Mr Davies ordered the review on 5 December following some of the worst weather conditions Wales has seen in over 20 years.

The first phase examines the direct impact of the floods, while the second will look at what lessons can be learnt, and the flood risk management in the affected areas.

Mr Davies previously said the Welsh government was in talks with the UK government about an application to the EU Emergency Solidarity Fund, originally set up to help those affected by the 2002 floods in Eastern Europe.

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