Wales

Homes evacuated and A5 and A55 shut in north Wales floods

Cars were left stranded on the A55 at Llandygai Image copyright Llinos Davies
Image caption Cars were left stranded on the A55 at Llandygai

Homes have been evacuated as flooding brought "chaos" to roads in north Wales, with people rescued from cars and vehicles left stranded.

The A55 has been closed between junction 11 for the A5 and junction 15 at Llanfairfechan.

The A5 was closed near Betws-y-coed, and in Powys, the A487 Dyfi Bridge at Machynlleth has also been shut.

Coastguard teams are helping people from homes near Beaumaris castle, on Anglesey, after its moat overflowed.

Those affected have been taken to Beaumaris leisure centre, while firefighters work to pump water away from affected properties.

There have also been evacuations in the villages of Llandwrog and Bontnewydd, near Caernarfon, and people have been taken to stay with friends or neighbours on higher ground.

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Media captionCounty councillor Sara Allardice says cars are causing flood waves in Llanrwst
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Media captionFarmer Gareth Wyn Jones in Llanfairfechan says the scenes are 'unbelievable'

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has issued 13 flood warnings for north, mid and west Wales, along with dozens of alerts.

The Met Office has stepped up its "be aware" warning to "be prepared", which is in place for north west Wales until 23:00 GMT Saturday.

Supt Nigel Harrison of North Wales Police said it had received a "high level" of flood-related calls and the force was working with other agencies to safeguard the public.

"Every effort is being made to ensure all the major road networks are re-opened as soon as possible and people living in the affected areas need to heed the warnings and only travel when it is absolutely necessary," he said.

"We are in close liaison with Natural Resources Wales to ensure the necessary steps are taken should any further evacuation be required."

"Flood water can be extremely dangerous, and people should not attempt to walk or drive through it unless instructed by the emergency services," he added.

Image caption A dog walker braves the rain and flood water in Llanrug near Caernarfon
Image copyright @TuHwntirBont/Twitter
Image caption Flooding in Llannrwst, Conwy County
Image copyright Alys Haf
Image caption Police said some homes had been flooded in Talybont, near Bangor
Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption This was the scene on the A55 eastbound just after junction 11 at Bangor
Image copyright Bethan Mortimer
Image caption The River Ogwen in Bethesda, Gwynedd, has burst its banks

Earlier on Saturday, a North Wales Police spokesman said problems were first reported on the A55 and A5 roads late on Christmas Day and they were likely to be closed for 24 hours.

He said the force had received reports of floating cars and some people had to be rescued, adding: "It's chaos at the moment."

In Denbighshire, temporary defences have been deployed in St Asaph to protect homes in the Roe Park area as heavy rain overnight has caused the River Elwy to rise.

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Media captionMartin Roberts filmed flooding at Llandygai, near Bangor
Image copyright David Roberts
Image caption River levels are high in Llanelwy, St Asaph, where extra flood defences have been deployed
Image copyright NRW
Image caption Extra protection is installed at St Asaph
Image copyright Richard Roberts
Image caption Flooding on Caernarfon Road, Bangor

Donna Littlechild of NRW said: "Unfortunately, the festive period did not bring any respite from the recent wet weather and we have been monitoring the rivers and taking action to warn people and prepare our defences.

"We're asking people to take care near water and to keep an eye on our website where flood alerts and warnings are updated every 15 minutes.

"We are also asking people to take the advice of the emergency services and to keep themselves and their friends and family safe."

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