Wales floods: Rain warning threat to clean-up

Flood-hit residents living in mid and north Wales have been warned that more rain is due after the weekend storms.

Environment Agency Wales said it did not expect further flooding, but heavy rain may disrupt the clean-up operation.

Parts of Ceredigion were flooded by 5ft (1.5m) of water with record high river levels in parts on Saturday.

The Welsh government says it will do as much as it can to help, and the council can apply for emergency cash support.

A Welsh government spokesperson said it would "do all we can to assist the area" Ceredigion should be eligible for the financial assistance available after "large scale emergencies".

In Pennal, Gwynedd, 600 people returned to their homes after an evacuation following a breach in a dam wall.

The Met Office confirmed that more than a month's worth of rain fell at Trawsgoed, near Aberystwyth, on Friday.

Caravan parks and villages near Aberystwyth were inundated by floodwater when twice as much rain fell in 24 hours as normal for the whole of June.

Image caption Visible flood levels on the window of Maurice Jones's Talybont home

As the clean-up continued on Monday, Environment Agency Wales lifted three remaining flood alerts in force for mid and west Wales.

But in a statement, the agency advised people in Ceredigion and Gwynedd that a band of further rainfall was forecast for the area later on Monday which may be heavy in places.

"At this moment in time, forecasts indicate that although rivers may rise, the rain is not likely to cause any further flooding to the area," it said.

"However, the rainfall may disrupt the clean-up operation which is currently under way following serious flooding in the area over the weekend."

The Ystwyth Surgery at Llanbadarn Fawr in Aberystwyth has been affected by flooding and has relocated to the former Countryside Council for Wales building on the IBERS site near Penrhyncoch.

Dr Khalid Bashir, head of emergency medicine at Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth, warned of the health risks posed by the flood water.

"There are numerous health risks particularly among vulnerable people, like children and the elderly," he said.

"The risks are in contaminated water than can lead to vomiting and abdominal pains, and conditions like eczema and asthma can get worse during this time."

First Minister Carwyn Jones told the BBC there was very little that could be done about extreme weather conditions.

"We're spending £40m on flood defences and coastal erosion over the course of the next year," he said.

Boosting defences

"The reality is you cannot prevent flooding at all times, especially when you get very, very unusual weather patterns such as we've seen over the few days in in this particular part of Wales.

"Of course, the situation will have been examined. We'll talk to the Environment Agency to see what could be done to help boost the flood defences in the area in the future."

Image caption Flood damage inside the Ystwyth Medical Centre in Aberystwyth, which has had to move

Ellen ap Gwynn, the leader of Ceredigion council, announced that an appeal will be launched to help communities affected by the floods in northern Ceredigion.

She said: "I've personally witnessed the devastation left by this weekend's flooding.

"It's heartbreaking to see so many homes damaged by the flooding and to realise that many have lost prized personal possessions that cannot be replaced.

"However, I hope that by launching an appeal we can assist those affected to get back on their feet as soon as possible."

Breach in dam

On Sunday, police strongly urged the 600 villagers at Pennal, Gwynedd, to evacuate the area after a slight breach appeared in a dam at a disused quarry.

Some residents were transported to Machynlleth, just over the border in Powys, while others relocated themselves to a leisure resort above the village or made alternative plans.

A hole that would normally drain the water and release the pressure had been blocked by a landslide.

Emergency services, contractors and the landowner worked to create a permanent channel to slowly release of water.

By 19:30 BST on Sunday villagers were allowed to return to their homes.

The emergency services said the operation, involving 6m gallons of water, had been successful.

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