Flooding: Heavy rain could spark more floods, agency warns
- 22 December 2012
- From the section Wales
Further flooding in Wales is "quite likely" with more heavy rain expected to fall on saturated ground, the Environment Agency has warned.
A woman had to be rescued from her car in the Vale of Glamorgan on Saturday afternoon and about 30 houses near Swansea were flooded.
Fire crews pumped out water from roads and homes across parts of Wales.
But rail services in and out of south Wales have resumed, though after being hit by "significant flooding".
On Saturday evening, the Met Office had an amber flood warning in place for south Wales, advising people to be prepared for localised flooding from rivers and surface water.
Environment Agency Wales has nine flood warnings in place, where flooding is expected.
They are for the River Llynfi at Maesteg; Rivers Mawddach, Wnion and the town of Dolgellau; River Ely at Peterston super Ely and at St Fagans in Cardiff; River Ewenny at Ewenny, Vale of Glamorgan; the River Solva in Solva and the River Ritec at Tenby, in Pembrokeshire; the Lower Dee Valley from Llangollen, Denbighshire, to Chester, and Dyfi Valley at Dyfi Bridge.
There are 37 less serious flood alerts are in place elsewhere where flooding is possible.
"We've had a lot of rain and more heavy rain is places is due to fall," said Deiniol Tegid from Environment Agency Wales.
"We're particularly concerned about an area of high ground from south Gwynedd down through north Ceredigion, through the Cambrian mountains and to the area east of Swansea.
"The biggest problem has been the amount of rain that has fallen and the fact that it's spread across virtually the whole of Wales.
"It's pretty difficult to be exact as to where the worst events will happen so we're keeping an eye out on the whole of Wales."
He added: "This particular rainfall is due to peter out during the early hours of the morning but it's quite possible that further rain will fall over the next few days and because the ground is already saturated and the rivers already high, then it's quite likely that we could see other flood situations develop over the coming days and weeks."
In Llancarfan, in the Vale of Glamorgan, staff and drinkers at a pub rescued a woman from the River Carfan.
The woman was driving through the village, which has a ford through the river, when her black Mini ended up in the swollen waterway.
Sue Millard, who runs the Fox and Hounds Inn with husband John said a neighbour raised the alarm as the car, with the woman trapped, inside floated down the river backwards.
She said: "It got stuck on the bridge by the village hall. Luckily for her, it stopped on the middle section as opposed to the two archways either side."
She said the neighbour and a regular broke the passenger window with a ladder which they then put into the car.
One of the men climbed along the ladder and coaxed the traumatised woman out of the car.
The car has since become stuck under one of the smaller archways.
Mrs Millard added: "She was in a total state of shock and distress as you can imagine. I don't think she will be doing that again.
"None of the villagers would have driven through the ford with the river like that, especially not in a mini."
Elsewhere, about 25 firefighters from Mid and West Fire Service were called to 30 flooded houses in Kingrosia Park, Clydach, Swansea on Saturday afternoon and say the situation has worsened while they have been there.
Crews have also been called to flooding in the Talybont area of north Ceredigion and the Aberystwyth area of Powys but these incidents were minor compared to calls from other areas, the service said.
On the roads, fire crews have been called to deal with localised flooding at Llantwit Major, St Athan and Boverton in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it was called out to around 45 flooding incidents on Saturday morning, including at some two dozen homes on Gower, Swansea, and in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire.
In Swansea, a wall collapsed in Clifton Place, with an estimated 30 tons of rubble and soil falling on to a footpath. No-one was injured.
The A474 in Briton Ferry, Neath Port Talbot, is closed in both directions due to flooding. Emergency services are in attendance and diversions are in place.
A4118 in Parkmill on Gower is closed due to flooding, as is the A4136 Staunton Road in Staunton, Monmouthshire, due to flooding and a landslip.
And a 50mph speed limit is in place on much of the M4 in south Wales due to surface spray.
Earlier in the day, rail services were halted between Swansea and Newport after being hit by flooding but services have since resumed with delays.
Passengers were initially told to avoid travel where the problems had been added to by a signalling problem in Cardiff, which has now been fixed.
Anyone travelling by rail is advised to check the Arriva Trains Wales website before travelling, as its services have resumed but disruption is expected for the rest of Saturday.
A spokesman said: "We appreciate what an important travel day today is, and we would like to apologise for the disruption experienced by passengers.
"We would like to thank passengers for their patience.
"Some Network Rail signalling equipment was flooded and damaged, and they worked as quickly as they could to isolate and repair the fault."
Network Rail said a blown transformer at Central Cardiff station at 09:40 GMT knocked out signalling in the Cardiff area but it is not yet known if flooding was the problem.
A spokesman said: "All signals and services are back up and running and we should have, more or less, a normal service up and running in the next few hours."
Weather forecasters predicted heavy rain for much of Saturday, with up to 50mm (2ins) falling on already saturated ground and swollen rivers.
The rain is due to slowly ease overnight with most places becoming dry by Sunday morning.