North East Wales

St Asaph flood victims 'deserve homecoming concert'

Media captionHelen Callaghan spoke to victims of last year's floods in Wales

A concert should be held once all flood victims return to their homes in Denbighshire, says a community leader.

Six months after floods devastated parts of St Asaph, the Reverend Nigel Williams, dean of the city's cathedral, said the moment would need to be marked.

Last November one woman died when the River Elwy breached flood defences that were built to cope with a once in a century event.

A fund has so far raised £175,000.

Mr Williams said: "It's the beginning of a healing process. What happened to property was negative, how people have dealt with it is the positive and it's a great tribute and credit to the people of St Asaph.

"I hope it will take us from strength to strength as a community, I'm looking forward to everyone being back home and I think we will need to mark that occasion - Party in the Park or a concert or whatever is going to be appropriate once everyone is back home.

"It's going to be a true celebration."

Many homes are still being repaired and refurbished.

Tanya Parry, who recently moved back into her house, said: "It was all over Christmas, so that was upsetting because you look forward to Christmas in your own home.

'Disrupted plans'

"We had to move out but we went to our parents' house so that was ok really, but your plans all get disrupted.

"I had rearranged for the kids to go a different way to school... [I was] working nearly full-time, with having to deal with what was going on in the house at the time - builders, electricians, plumbers - it was quite stressful really.

The city's mayor, John Roberts, said: "It's been a very, very long six months for some people because they've been out of their homes and they are still out of their homes in some cases until September, possibly October, and I think time is dragging.

"We set up the fund the next day and to date £175,000 has been donated to the account.

"Money is still being donated in quite considerable amounts, to be honest, and obviously while the money makes a difference, it's a token of support."

He said the money had helped to tide people over and meet shortfalls in buying new furniture.

Bethan Hughes, from the Denbighshire Library Service, said: "We couldn't get into the library because it's right in the middle of the flooded area and when we came in a couple of days later it did look rather sad.

"But we've managed to rescue about 75% of the stock and I'm really pleased to be able to say the builders are in and we have started the work of restoring the building now - the hope being we can open in mid-July."

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