Flooding dampens Christmas spirit as homes and shops hit

Media caption,
Homes, shops and roads were all hit when heavy rain brought flooding

Households and businesses have woken up to a Christmas Eve clean-up after emergency services faced hundreds of calls for flooding help.

Firefighters were called to flooding at properties in Cardiff, Newport, Monmouthshire and Vale of Glamorgan.

Huw Williams from Natural Resources Wales said rivers were still rising on Thursday morning.

Wednesday's downpours saw parts of the M4 and M48 closed and train services cancelled.

Image caption,
Water poured into the ground floor of a home in Sully

There are five flood warnings in place and Mr Williams told BBC Radio Wales: "What we are seeing is the water coming down from the catchments to the river areas so we are asking people to be very careful when travelling.

"Flooding can have a devastating impact on people's lives... We are hoping for a bit of respite over the next few days but we are expecting more rain, unfortunately, later on in the weekend.

"Our staff have been out all night... trying to protect properties but we are asking people to be vigilant."

Image caption,
The Sportsman's Rest Club at Peterston-super-Ely, Vale of Glamorgan

Enzo Nigro, the senior manager of Potters Pub in Newport, said he spotted his cellar had flooded via the CCTV.

"It's [the future] not looking bright at the moment, this was the last thing we wanted before Christmas, the cherry on the cake that shows how bad this year has been," he said.

'People rushed to help'

Richard Williams said neighbours helped build a barricade in front of his house in Mathern, Monmouthshire, after water started rushing in off nearby fields.

"It was a Dunkirk spirit when the call went out, the village rallied together, people we don't even know," he said.

"Mathern does have that community spirit so we shouldn't expect anything less. I was absolutely amazed with the people who turned up to help us."

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People are having to deal with flooding and damage to their homes just before Christmas

Mr Williams said emergency services had to use a boat to transport people across the village after the flood waters rose. "At the moment, everyone is thankful that the rain has stopped and it seems to have subsided slightly," he said.

Image source, Craig James
Image caption,
Lian James has praised the community effort after her mother's house in Sully flooded

Lian James has praised the community effort after her mother's house in Sully flooded.

"A cry went out for help on the Sully Community Hub and everyone turned up with dehumidifiers, buckets... everyone was amazing

"An upsetting story but with an amazing response."

A man who provides free second-hand bikes to children whose parents cannot afford them posted on Twitter to offer scooters or bicycles to anyone who lost Christmas gifts in the flooding.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Russell Thomas, general manager at Glamorganshire Golf Club, said he "feared the worst" when he turned up to work this morning.

Because the club house is lower than the golf course, water often runs off the course into the club house.

"The rain was so bad that the pumps in the cellar couldn't deal with it," he said.

The cellar was submerged in about a foot of water, but it could have been a lot worse.

"You do fear the worst when the pumps are over capacity but I have seen the cellar flood quite badly before with barrels bobbing up and down," Mr Thomas added.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The Newport home of Lauren Torjesen was also damaged in the floods.

"If I don't laugh I will cry," she said.

"The electric has to be turned off so I don't know what we'll do with all that good food."

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Lauren Torjesen says her Christmas food could be ruined

In Newport city centre, shops and roads were flooded.

Mary Pring, 78, from Newport, has had to abandon her plans to shield alone over Christmas due to flood damage in her home.

"Absolutely dreadful, I'm supposed to be shielding, which I was, I was going to stay on my own on Christmas but now I will have to go to my children.

"I couldn't live in that, it's dreadful."

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Soaked carpets and rugs are taken from Mary Pring's home

Mrs Pring's son Nicholas said water saturated all of his mother's carpets.

"This has been going on now for numerous years, what happens is a backfill of water fills up the street."

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People in Newport attempt to salvage belongings

Arnold's Lighting and Electrical on Skinner Street, said on social media: "There are no words to describe the devastation... water is now almost over the top of the counter.

"We have lost everything. What a 2020."

Image source, Amber Powell
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Flooding made driving in Newport almost impossible

Newport council's leader Jane Mudd said all its available teams were out on Wednesday evening "doing everything we can do to assist as much as possible in the worst affected areas".

When her dad's home was flooded in Sully, Vale of Glamorgan, Maris Lyons put on her wellies and went over to help.

"It was devastating and shocking, the water was so deep and as I arrived, the elderly couple who live next door to my parents were being lifted out on a man's shoulders," she said, adding a dog had swum out of a neighbouring property.

"It's a scene that I never thought I'd imagine I'd see."

Image caption,
Mari Lyons said the community spirit in the area had been amazing

A Met Office weather warning was in place until 02:00 GMT on Thursday, affecting most of Wales, apart from parts of six counties in north Wales.

Cardiff council called on residents to help clear drains of debris and leaves to reduce water levels.

A spokesman said: "The rain has filled up the brooks and streams which are now higher than the outfalls. This means the drains can't empty and are consequently backing up."

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Natural Resources Wales warned rivers were still rising
Image source, @FramingWales
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Motorists on Cowbridge Road in Cardiff experienced difficulty