North East Wales

William and Kate donate £5,000 to Rhyl flood victims

Woman and her dog rescued by the RNLI Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Rhyl in December - when tides breached sea defences swamping parts of the town

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have donated £5,000 to help flood victims in a Denbighshire town.

Clarence House confirmed William and Kate made a private donation to the Rhyl Flood Appeal, and were fond of north Wales after living on Anglesey.

The mayor of Rhyl, Andrew Rutherford, said on social media he was "gobsmacked" to receive a £5,000 donation from the royal couple.

About 150 homes were swamped by waves during storms in December.

Many families are still living in temporary accommodation after the sea defences gave way, and a fundraising effort was launched to help them.

Clarence House declined to comment on the amount donated.

However, Mr Rutherford posted a message on Facebook saying the appeal had received "an unexpected donation of £5000" from the Duke and Duchess.

He said a letter sent on behalf of the couple read: "The Duke and Duchess realise that it is a long, slow and painful process for the many people displaced from their homes and as a token of their support, and to show the people of Rhyl that they are in their thoughts, Their Royal Highnesses would like to make a personal donation to your Rhyl Town Mayor's Flood Appeal."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The royal couple lived on Anglesey while William served as an RAF rescue pilot

Mr Rutherford wrote: "I was gobsmacked when the letter arrived but it goes to show that when you keep the awareness of an issue in the media things can, and do, happen. Thank you William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge."

Last month, the mayor called for victims of December's storm surge not to be forgotten, as it was revealed some might not be returning to their homes for months.

At the time, he said some of those made homeless were still staying at holiday campsites and chalets in and around the resort town while repairs are carried out on their properties.

Mr Rutherford said other families, who initially thought they had escaped the tidal deluge, had discovered that the sea water had affected building foundations.

"All the water that has gone over has actually gone under their houses and they have had to have their foundations taken up," he said.

"A couple of them have had to move out so that they can have their footings replaced and floorboards done.

"So we are still getting snippets about people who are being affected, even now, so it's quite hard."

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