Wales floods: Rescuers find woman dead at St Asaph

An elderly woman was found dead as rescuers spent the day battling floods in north Wales.

Latest reports suggest that about 400 properties have been affected in St Asaph, Denbighshire.

Denbighshire council says the situation is "stabilising and the rivers have stopped over-topping".

Houses on a new estate at nearby Ruthin were also hit by floods along with homes in Rhuddlan and other villages.

The Red Cross says 130 people attended a rest centre in St Asaph Leisure Centre throughout the day and all evacuees have found alternative overnight accommodation.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service have eight fire crews in St Asaph on Tuesday evening with four in Ruthin pumping out homes.

Another crew has been sent to Rhuddlan with a volume pump to ensure the road serving Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, remains open.

Welsh-medium Ysgol Glan Clwyd will be closed on Wednesday as parts of the school are being used as an emergency shelter while some roads remain impassable, said the head teacher.

And the Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, told BBC Radio Wales that an emergency meeting will be held in St Asaph on Wednesday to discuss the clean-up operation.

Denbighshire council chief executive Mohammed Mehmet said: "Today has been a difficult day for many people affected by flooding, not only in St Asaph, Ruthin and Rhuddlan, but also in other communities.

"Even though we are still in the response stage, work has already started to plan for the recovery phase.

Image caption A landslip closed the A548 between Llanrwst and Llangernyw in Conwy county

"A series of sub groups have been set up to look at each area of priority such as welfare, clean up and temporary accommodation and housing needs.

"We have had a number of offers of help from the public, voluntary groups and neighbouring councils and we are extremely grateful for their kind offers."

Emergency services have been working since the early hours after the river Elwy burst its banks in St Asaph.

Severe flood warnings - categorised as a danger to life - are still in place in two stretches of the river, according to the Environment Agency.

North Wales Police said the death of the woman - discovered during house-to-house check calls by rescuers - was not thought to be suspicious and an investigation is under way.

In some areas of St Asaph, a tiny city with a population of 3,400, water levels reached up to seven feet.

On Tuesday evening police said emergency services were continuing to check properties in St Asaph in case any vulnerable people remain in homes in flooded areas.

Officers have also advised people not to return to their property until they have been told it is safe.

Properties in Llanfair Talhaiarn, Llansannan and Eglwys Bach have also been flooded while Abergele and Llangernyw have also threatened.

Forecasters say the rain is expected to subside with the weather turning colder over the next few days, but there is still a risk of water flowing down from higher ground.

Red Cross workers have stood down with Denbighshire council workers continuing to staff the rest centre in St Asaph while another at Ruthin has closed.

Grandfather of four Dave Phillips, 63, and his wife were evacuated from their home at St Asaph at around 04:20 GMT on Tuesday.

He said: "Everyone from the Red Cross, emergency services and even the local school children have been absolutely tremendous."

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Media captionThe RNLI filmed a rescue inside a block of flats in St Asaph

Meanwhile, several major and minor roads across the area are closed and people are advised to drive only if their journey is essential.

As well as the main areas where properties have been flooded, routes affected include the A5 Corwen, Denbighshire; A525 at Bangor on Dee, near Wrexham; and A548, Llanwrst, Conwy.

Other roads are passable with care and motorists are asked to heed warnings. Details are available via the Traffic Wales website.

Train services are suspended between Holyhead and Bangor due to flooded tracks at Gaerwen on Anglesey.

And buses replace trains between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog until further notice.

Details of rail disruptions are available on the National Rail Enquiries website.

Some schools in Conwy and Denbighshire have also been closed.

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