Flood repairs around Wales given extra £4.2m

Rhyl Image copyright PA
Image caption Residents were evacuated in parts of Rhyl when a tidal surge hit the seafront in December

Flood defences battered by winter storms around Wales are promised an extra £4.2m for "swift repair" by the Welsh government.

The extra funding will be paid directly to Welsh councils after they said more money was needed for the clean-up.

Natural Resources Minister Alun Davies had already promised £3m to pay for emergency repairs.

Most of the funding will be spent in Conwy, Denbighshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Mr Davies said: "We know that the weather over recent months has been extreme and that coastal authorities particularly have been working hard to repair the damage and ensure that flood defences within their communities are sound.

"This additional £4.2m is in response to applications from local authorities in which they have set out their estimated flood repair costs.

"It is specifically for the swift repair of flood defences and to help ensure the safety of people, homes and businesses in at-risk areas.

"The recent review of the storms showed that our flood defences held up well... and that over 99% of at-risk homes were protected, preventing nearly £3bn in damages to property as well as saving lives.

"However we know we can never be complacent about the potential impact of flooding on our communities."

Much of the Welsh coast felt the full force of the storms during the winter.

In Rhyl, Denbighshire, about 150 homes were swamped by waves when sea defences gave way at the beginning of December.

Many of those affected are not expecting to return to their properties until the autumn.

Image copyright Mark Lewis
Image caption Aberystwyth's promenade was damaged by winter storms

And people living on the seafront at Aberystwyth were evacuated on more than one occasion due to the threat from high tides and wave swells.

Wind and waves battered the promenade leaving sand and debris covering the road.

It was a similar picture elsewhere with many smaller resorts also being damaged, including Newgale in Pembrokeshire where a bus was hit by a wave and knocked off the road.

About 60,000 tonnes of stones has to be returned to Llandudno's North Shore after the storms, according to Mike Priestley, Conwy cabinet member for environment, highways and sustainability.

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Media captionMike Priestley of Conwy council tells Chris Dearden that Llandudno's North Shore lost 60,000 tonnes of stone

Another project is due to take place at Kinmel Bay to protect 6,000 properties, importing 25,000 tonnes of material on to the nearby beach.

He said the work would not have gone ahead without the £3.8m promised funding, the largest share of the cash coming from the Welsh government.

Councils have been left counting the cost with total bills running into millions of pounds.

In all, £6.2m will be spent by Wales' 22 local authorities with £1m allocated to Natural Resources Wales.

Meanwhile, the flood-hit tourism industry in north Wales has received a £720,000 boost from a Welsh government support fund.

And a separate fund has been set aside for the fishermen to repair or replace gear damaged by the weather.

The industry employs 1,900 people and is worth £20m a year to the Welsh economy.

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