Mid Wales

Ceredigion council flood costs 'problematic', says deputy leader

Ceredigion council is still counting the cost following major floods which hit the area this summer.

Dozens of families around Aberystwyth are still unable to return to their homes after June's flash floods.

A month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours and 1,000 people had to leave their homes.

A senior councillor said the authority was dealing with a £20m highways repair backlog caused by severe winters before the floods hit.

Ceredigion council spent £300,000 clearing up in the immediate aftermath of the flood, fixing roads and bridges.

However, it expects repair costs will rise to over £400,000.

The figures come as the Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils across England and Wales, says the summer's floods have left councils facing multi-million pound repair bills.

Councillor Ray Quant, Ceredigion deputy council leader, said: "The floods obviously exasperates previous situations where we had a £20m backlog on our highways infrastructure mainly caused by severe winters - not last winter - the two winters before.

"And now we have got the flood damage coming on top of that so it will be problematic for us," he said.

Aberystwyth and the nearby villages of Talybont, Dol-y-Bont, Capel Bangor, Llanbadarn Fawr and Llandre were among the areas affected by the heavy rain which fell between 8 and 9 June.

In the days after, some families driven from their homes by the water were warned they would have to leave for up to six months.

A total of £105,000 has been collected through the council leader's appeal fund and 130 people affected by the floods will receive a payment of £700 or £250 to help with some of their costs.

Michael Fothergill from Talybont whose home was hit by flooding, praised the help of the council but said he was still waiting for answers about why the flooding happened.

"We haven't had a full explanation to what happened on the day, any events that contributed to the flood, and what we can do to help mitigate a flood in the future."

Ceredigion council leader Ellen ap Gwynn, who also lives in Talybont, said an initial expert report suggested that the event was a one in 200-year flood.

"Water came down from the mountain in one huge rush," she told BBC Radio Wales, adding that she did not believe it could have been prevented.

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