Wales

Storm Callum: Village's evacuation warning and people rescued from train

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Media captionStorm Callum causes chaos across south Wales

A village is on evacuation alert and passengers have been rescued from a train as Storm Callum hits Wales.

Residents of 29 homes on Canal Side in Aberdulais, near Neath, have been advised to leave their homes because of high river levels.

The Met Office issued an amber warning for heavy rain on Friday and Saturday for south Wales, while the whole country has a warning for wind.

Thousands of homes have been without power, roads shut and trains cancelled.

Fire crews were called to a train stuck in floodwater at Penrhiwceiber, near Mountain Ash, and up to 30 passengers evacuated from the Valley Lines train.

Trains between Cardiff and Aberdare are cancelled as a result as commuters face transport chaos on the Friday night journey home.

Trains between Swansea and Carmarthen stopped running at 19:00 on Friday evening due to anticipated coastal flooding.

Image caption Passengers had to be evacuated after this train was stranded at Penrhiwceiber

The M48 Severn crossing near Chepstow is closed eastbound and closed to high-sided vehicles westbound. The A55 Britannia Bridge near Bangor is also only open to cars and vans, but a 30 mph speed limit has been lifted.

Gusts hit 72mph (116km) at Capel Curig in Conwy with 15mm (0.6in) of rain falling in three hours near St Davids.

A number of flood warnings were also issued on Friday afternoon, with more than 30 further flood alerts.

The rivers Neath and Dulais converge at Aberdulais where preparations have begun to evacuate residents.

Local councillor Doreen Jones said officials are hoping that river levels will stay where they are.

Image copyright Kieran Benson
Image caption Aberdulais is on evacuation alert as river levels rise

Elsewhere, Natural Resources Wales deployed pumps as a precaution in Carmarthenshire area as river levels continued to rise on Friday evening.

How is transport affected?

Motorists have faced major problems between Anglesey and the mainland with the with the Britannia Bridge closed to all vehicles other than cars and vans, though the A5025 Pentraeth Road near Menai Bridge has now re-opened.

The A465 Heads of the Valleys road is closed at Hirwaun in Rhondda Cynon Taff due to flooding.

Arriva Trains Wales said a bus replacement service was in place for commuters from Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd, between Machynlleth and Pwlleli, also in Gwynedd and between Aberdare and Fernhill.

It has also published an amended timetable for Saturday.

Image caption The owner of this vehicle in Penylan, Cardiff, had only purchased the car three weeks ago
Image caption Traffic was diverted following the closure of the A465 at Hirwaun

The A5114 Glanhwfa Road at Llangefni, A4215 at Defynnog in Powys and A4059 in Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taff are all closed.

The A5 Eastbound from Bethesda to Capel Curig has also been closed due to a landslip, and police have said it will remain closed overnight.

Dyfed-Powys Police has urged motorists to take care on rural roads.

Ferry crossings to Ireland are expected to be heavily disrupted. Both Irish Ferries and Stena Line have cancelled crossings between Wales and Ireland on Friday.

Image copyright Keith Morris
Image caption High winds are battering coastal areas like Aberystwyth

What about flooding and power cuts?

Image copyright keith morris
Image caption Not the best place to park as waves batter the Welsh coast

Western Power Distribution says thousands of customers are without power, mainly due to falling branches and debris damaging lines.

Properties in Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Anglesey, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Newport and the Whitchurch and Llanishen areas of Cardiff, were all affected.

Bryngwran School on Anglesey was also closed due to a lack of electricity.

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Media captionLarge waves and strong winds have been hitting Mumbles, Swansea,

Heavy rain is expected to cause flooding on a number of rivers, including the Towy in Carmarthen where the quayside road is now closed.

Natural Resources Wales has now issued a number of flood warnings, which advises people to take "immediate action".

Volunteers have been building a 300m (984ft) sandbag 'wall' to help protect Grade I listed Gwydir Castle, near Llanrwst in the Conwy Valley, from flood damage.

What is the forecast?

Image copyright Met Office
Image caption The amber warning covers most of southern Wales

The worst of the rain is expected to be on south and south-facing hills, with 120mm to 160mm (4.7in to 6.3in) predicted, according to the Met Office.

The yellow warning for wind affects the whole country while the majority of Wales is covered by a yellow warning for rain. Motorists have been warned to be prepared for poor driving conditions.

The yellow warnings for wind and rain last until midnight, but the amber warning for rain across south Wales is set to last until 18:00 on Saturday.

Wind speeds are expected to drop slightly, but rain is likely to be set in until Sunday, which will be cooler but is set to be dry as the storm passes.

Image copyright Traffic Wales
Image caption The Rhigos roundabout on the A465 is flooded

Amber warnings can mean:

Image copyright keith morris
Image caption Big waves are crashing on Aberystwyth sea front
  • Spray and flooding leading to difficult driving conditions and some road closures
  • Delays and cancellations to some train and bus services are likely
  • Fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely
  • Homes and businesses could be flooded, causing damage to some buildings
  • Some communities could be cut off by flooded roads
  • Power cuts and loss of other services to some homes and businesses are likely
  • Yellow warnings are issued for less severe weather

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