Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008

Rain storms cause flash flooding

Families and local authorities alike are left counting the cost of the clean-up after heavy rain and flooding damages property

Emergency services have had to answer hundreds of flooding calls overnight after torrential rainstorms.

Carmarthenshire, the Swansea Valley, the Cynon Valley and Maesteg were worst hit. Pontarddulais Comprehensive school was closed to pupils on Monday.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service received about 400 calls while the South Wales service dealt with almost another 50 in a few hours.

The Environment Agency had four flood warnings in place.

In Trebanos in the Swansea Valley, one family of two adults and seven children had to be rescued from a house after water rushed down from the hills flooding the house.

Jane Jordan, who lives next door, described how she and her young daughter escaped the flooding.

"I had my 11-year-old daughter here upstairs. I couldn't open my front door because of the volume of water on the other side of it.

"The choice was that we went out through an upstairs window onto a plastic roof or I go through all the water and out through the bathroom window, and that's what we did in the end.

"My daughter had to be lifted out and then I was lifted out as well."

In Pontarddulais, a number of homes and shops were flooded as well as classrooms at the comprehensive school.

Headteacher John Radford said: "It is approximately two or three inches at its deepest, but it's really right across all our classroom areas, our collection areas.

"It is muddied with silt off the local field area. Our parking area is under water. It is looking really desperate at the moment I have to say.

"It doesn't look like the school we normally run at this time, covered in mud and dirt, it really is a very sad, sad place," said Mr Radford.

Water on some roads also made travel very difficult overnight.

Motorists were advised in particular to approach the A484 at Pwll in Carmarthenshire with care.

Fire crews were still pumping out on Monday morning at the Carmarthen Bay Holiday Village at St Ishmaels.

The rain also caused problems for the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service who dealt with calls from flooded homes in Bala and Llanfynydd near Wrexham

On the A5 in Chirk, a family of four were rescued from their car after flood water on the road caused it to overturn.

The Environment Agency had four flood warnings in place across Wales.

They were on the Lower Dee Valley from Llangollen to Chester, the River Monnow at Forge Road, Osbaston, the River Taff at Troedyrhiw, Aberfan and Quakers Yard and at the River Usk from Brecon to Glangrwyne.

In Llandyfaelog, near Kidwelly, Annie Dobson had a lucky escape after some ball lightning appeared in front of her in her home.

This specialised type of lightning appears as a glowing sphere of light and contains very high levels of energy.

People have been killed by ball lightning in the past but Mrs Dobson managed to escape unhurt after the ball exploded and disappeared in front of her.

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