Rhos-on-Sea and Abergele homes get flood protection

River Gele in flood 1971 The last major flooding in Abergele was in 1971

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More homes in two coastal Conwy towns should be safer from flooding as protection is upgraded.

A scheme to safeguard properties at risk in Abergele passed its first test during the heavy rain and high river flows in last month.

There will be further work done there in the summer.

A separate project in Rhos-on-Sea will protect 121 properties at risk of flooding from the River Ganol (East), upstream of the golf course.

The work in the Faenol Avenue and Ffordd y Morfa area of Abergele is designed to prevent up to 230 properties from the River Gele.

As well as homes, this includes businesses, industrial units, school grounds, roads, railway and bridges.

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One time a car got lifted up and lodged under the bridge and that was one of the reasons it flooded”

End Quote Malcolm Medlicott Mayor of Abergele

A bypass culvert has been built next to the bridge at Ffordd y Morfa to drain water away from the area more quickly during heavy rain.

The £1.4 million scheme was funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

Malcolm Medlicott, the mayor of Abergele, welcomed the improvements,and said he clearly remembered the last major flooding of the River Gele in 1971.

"I remember a couple of times when the river has been right up to the top of the bridge on the main street in Abergele," he said.

"One time a car got lifted up and lodged under the bridge and that was one of the reasons it flooded.

"And at Ffordd y Morfa there's less of a capacity for the water to get through because it's a smaller bridge. So they've made an extra culvert in case of heavy downpours."

Tidal chamber

Meic Davies, north Wales flood risk manager for Environment Agency Wales, said: "The second phase of the programme will involve some more disruption, but we will do everything we can to keep this to a minimum."

Meanwhile, work has begun to rebuild a tidal chamber by Rhos-on-Sea promenade and to replace the tidal outfall.

This should prevent the tide from pushing up the Afon Ganol and water backing up during heavy rain, reducing the flood risk for properties further upstream.

Mr Davies said: "We can not prevent all flooding, but we can reduce the likelihood of it happening."

The Rhos-on-Sea scheme will cost approximately £300,000 and is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.

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