Wales flooding: Major rescue continuing near Aberystwyth

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Media caption,
Dol-y-bont resident Jason Hughes: "I've seen it high but nothing like this"

A major rescue is continuing in mid Wales with around 150 people taken to safety after severe flooding.

Villages in Ceredigion have been cut off with houses and caravan parks being flooded. Emergency services have helped people get to safety with some being rescued by helicopter.

Three people have received treatment after sustaining minor injuries.

The high tide has now peaked and river levels should now recede. A clean-up has started in some affected areas.

The Environment Agency said "up to five inches" (12cm) of rain fell in the area in 24 hours and they remain concerned about the river Rheidol which is still rising, and the River Fathew in Bryncrug.

Roads around the area were also closed due to flooding and motorists have complained of long delays in the area.

Media caption,
Many were trapped by severe flooding at caravan parks near Aberystwyth

Around 100 firefighters have been involved in the rescue efforts as well as RNLI teams and other emergency services.

Andy Francis from Mid and West Wales Fire Service said: "The tide has peaked and the weather seems to be lightening.

"The worst should be over.

"But we will be monitoring the situation."

Emergency services have been prioritising getting the elderly and those who live in bungalows to safety.

The worst affected areas were Talybont, Dol-y-bont, Llandre, and Penrhyncoch - all in Ceredigion - with people moving to safety from the early hours of Saturday morning.

Machynlleth in Powys was also flooded.

The RNLI's flood rescue teams helped people to safety at Aberyswyth Holiday Village.

Rescues have happened at Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, Mill House Caravan Park at Dol-y-bont and Sea Rivers caravan park, Ynyslas.

Residents in 25 properties have also been evacuated in Talybont, a nearby village hit by severe flooding.

Ten houses have been flooded in the town of Penrhyncoch. One person has been rescued and an ambulance was deployed to another.

At one point, a helicopter winched to safety several members of a lifeboat crew.

The floodwater was said to be up to 1.5m (5ft) deep in some places.

Image caption,
Three people were airlifted by helicopter from a caravan park

RAF Sea King helicopters, inshore lifeboats and fire service rescue boats have also been involved.

During the rescue mission, the RNLI's Borth inshore lifeboat and specialist flood rescue team was deployed to help holidaymakers trapped in a flooded caravan site on the side of the River Leri near Borth.

The situation became so severe that a helicopter was used to rescue the inshore lifeboat crews, who were winched to safety.

Speaking earlier, Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Inspector Robyn Mason said the numbers of those rescued will "probably run into the hundreds".

Image caption,
The Riverside Caravan Park was submerged by flood water

Emergency rest centres were set up for people.

Pat Edwards, 56, whose partner runs Mill House Caravan Park, said they had not seen flooding like it in 50 years.

Stephen South who runs the Riverside caravan park said: "It's just like a sea now. There's hardly anything left."

Jason Hughes from Dol-y-bont said: "It's stopped raining now but we are still very much flooded. It's just slightly gone down a little bit but not much at all."

Sam Ebenezer, from Talybont, added: "Everyone is just devastated and amazed with the amount of water that's flowing through the river.

Media caption,
RAF teams have been winching people in danger from the flood waters to safety

"I've never seen the river as high as it has been. It came as a shock to everybody."

The Environment Agency Wales (EAW) said it had been an "unprecedented event".

It issued a number of flood alerts and warnings with updates via its website.

Officials have warned people not to go near swollen rivers.

Meanwhile, Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan has praised the emergency services for acting "quickly and with courage".

And a Welsh government spokeswoman said: "The first minister (Carwyn Jones) is very concerned about the flooding in mid and west Wales. He has been receiving updates throughout the day on the situation. The first minister's thanks go to all those involved in the rescue operation."

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