Wales floods: Some families cannot return for six months

Some families affected by the devastating floods in north Ceredigion have been warned they will have to leave their homes for up to six months.

Insurance assessors visited the communities in the Aberystwyth area on Tuesday to see the damage.

The warning comes as people in those areas are urged to remain vigilant as more rain is forecast.

Meanwhile, businesses, especially those in the tourism industry, are set to be offered government support.

Environment Agency Wales (EAW) said there could be localised flooding of roads from blocked drains or small streams, but it did not expect any further flooding of homes and property.

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

"People working near rivers and water courses should be vigilant and should take extra care if the levels begin to rise.

"Rivers are still swollen and dangerous from recent heavy rainfall and people should stay clear of river banks."

BBC Wales weather presenter Behnaz Akhgar said the showers would be "scattered" but also "heavy and slow moving".

"So once they get going they linger on for a long time, falling on to already saturated ground and the river levels are high. So there is a low risk of more flooding," she said.

"There is a severe weather warning in force for Gwynedd right down to Pembrokeshire and across to Bridgend.

Image caption A clean-up operation has started in Talybont, which at one point was under three foot of water

"We could see totals of up to 40mm (1.5in) of rain on Tuesday. If that wasn't enough we have more showers on Wednesday, with heavy persistent rain on Friday."

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

A major clean-up operation continues in Aberystwyth and the nearby villages of Talybont, Dol-y-Bont and Llandre and other areas affected by the flooding.

The Met Office has confirmed that more than a month's worth of rain fell in the Aberystwyth area on Friday.

In a statement to the Senedd on Tuesday, Local Government and Communities Minister Carl Sargeant paid tribute to the response by emergency services and other agencies to "the worst flood event we have seen in Wales for a number of years".

"The swift action undoubtedly saved lives," said Mr Sargeant.

Pollution fears

Mr Sargeant also praised "the resolute and unwavering spirit of the local people in the face of such distressing circumstances."

Meanwhile, scientists are to investigate whether the flooding near Aberystwyth has contaminated land with harmful metals from abandoned mines.

River banks that have stored toxic metals such as lead, zinc and cadmium for generations, could have been eroded and the toxins washed down stream.

A team from Aberystwyth University will survey the catchments areas of the rivers Leri, Rheidol and Ystwyth.

There are fears the pollution could pose a risk to land, animals and crops.

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