Wales flooding: Clean-up begins after rescue operation near Aberystwyth

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Media captionPeople have begun cleaning up Talybont after the village was flooded

A clean-up has started in parts of mid Wales after severe flooding sparked a major rescue operation which saw 1,000 people moved to safety.

Villages in Ceredigion were cut off as houses and caravan parks were flooded by up to 5ft (1.5m) of water.

Despite receding water levels, warnings have been made for people to stay away from rivers and flooded areas.

The Environment Agency Wales said it remained concerned about the River Rheidol and River Fathew in Bryncrug.

It said on Saturday that up to 5in (12cm) of rain had fallen in the area in 24 hours.

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

Machynlleth in Powys was also flooded and roads in surrounding areas were closed.

Dyfed Powys Police said they believed 1,000 people had been evacuated in total from Ceredigion and parts of Powys.

Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken to First Minister Carwyn Jones to offer his support and praise rescuers.

About 100 firefighters have been involved in the rescue efforts as well as RNLI teams and other emergency services. Three people have received treatment after sustaining minor injuries.

Mark Jones from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue said crews were concerned about the structure of some walls in the wake of the flooding and were treating them with "extreme caution".

Image caption Some trapped people were taken to safety by helicopter

During the operation, the RNLI's flood rescue teams helped people to safety at Aberystwyth Holiday Village.

Rescues happened at Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, near Aberystwyth, Mill House Caravan Park at Dol-y-bont, also in Llandre, Sea Rivers caravan park, Ynyslas, and Glanlerry Caravan Park, near Borth.

More than 100 caravans and tents at the Riverside Caravan Park were flooded, according to the Environment Agency Wales.

A spokeswoman said: "The rain has now cleared and river levels are falling but they are still high and dangerous."

Residents in 25 properties were evacuated in Talybont, and 10 houses flooded in the town of Penrhyncoch.

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Media captionThe flood waters in Dol-y-bont were filmed by Ian Smyth

Police said a bridge in Talybont and another in the village of Goginan had been damaged - but although inspections were planned, neither were thought to be in immediate danger of collapsing.

At one point, a helicopter winched to safety several members of a lifeboat crew who had got into difficulties after helping to rescue a disabled man from a flooded caravan.

Emergency rest centres were set up for people.

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

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

Ceredigion council leader Ellen ap Gwynn, who lives in Talybont, praised the "fantastic" community spirit following the floods. Flooding clean-up gets started

"Some people have helped in the hall this morning... now the boys are helping clear up the mess," she said.

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

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

Image caption Water has largely subsided at Riverside Caravan Park, near Aberystwyth

A Downing Street spokesman said the prime minister has spoken with First Minister Carwyn Jones and Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan about the flooding.

The spokesman said: "Mr Cameron offered his full support to all those affected by the extreme weather and passed on his thanks to the dedication of the RAF, lifeboat crews, emergency and other local services who have worked tirelessly to make people safe and keep disruption to a minimum."

Ms Gillan said: "This has been a very impressive operation in horrific weather conditions and with unprecedented flood levels.

"Those involved in the rescue mission at the caravan parks in Llandre have acted quickly and with courage.

"Wales Office are in contact with the teams involved and I would like to offer them my support and thanks for the way in which they have come to the aid of all the residents and holiday makers affected, and kept disruption to a minimum."

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Media captionRAF teams have been winching people in danger from the flood waters to safety

First Minister Carwyn Jones gave his thanks to everybody who helped with the rescue.

A Welsh government spokeswoman said: "The first minister 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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