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BBC Wales's Colette Hume
"The storms have left a trail of devastation across north Wales"
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BBC Wales's Rob Thomas
"The clean up operation is likely to take some time"
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The BBC's Kevin Bocquet
reports from North Wales
 real 56k

BBC Wales's Penny Roberts
"It felt like a tropical storm"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Storm mop-up continues
Road in Cardiff City Centre
The storms caused mayhem for road and rail users
Electricity teams are still fighting to restore power to around 15,000 homes in south Wales following devastating storms.

Extra staff had to be called in on Wednesday after lightning and torrential rain wreaked havoc and left 50,000 properties without light.

Throughout the day, disruption to rail and road networks continued to cause havoc for travellers.

Engineers from Railtrack worked round the clock to repair signals damaged by lightning strikes.

Bus in flood water
Roads became rivers
Delays on many lines were expected to continue into Thursday, and commuters were urged to check the latest information before setting off on their journeys.

The situation was not much better on the roads where heavy rain and flooding brought misery for many.

Meanwhile, steelworker Alan Lloyd had a lucky escape after lightning struck his home at Ty Canol in Cwmbran, south Wales, while he was leaning out of his bedroom window.

Mr Lloyd was only slightly hurt and was treated in hospital for shock.

The torrential rain first struck the north Wales coast on Tuesday evening leaving a trail of devastation.

Pensioners had to be evacuated after water poured into their homes in Llandudno and there was widespread damage to roads and property around Colwyn Bay and the Conwy Valley.

Damaged caravan in the River Lliw
Damaged caravan in the River Lliw

At a caravan park in the village of Llanuwchllyn near Bala in north Wales, seven caravans were washed away by the torrential rains.

Eyewitnesses at the Bryn Gwyn caravan site said the scene looked like the battle of the Sommer.

The static caravans were washed away into the river Lliw and 25 were moved within the site itself.

Alwyn Roberts, whose family own the site, described the scene.

"It was like someone had been playing with toys - caravans were strewn all over the place."

Flooded out

Businesses in Colwyn Bay, and Llandudno Junction were also flooded out and Llandrillo College at Rhos on Sea near Colwyn Bay had to end its open evening early.

The fire service says the situation in north Wales eased overnight and on Wednesday the roads were clear.

But more than 3,500 homes in the region are still without electricity.

It is estimated that supplies will be restored later but further storms are forecast.

Street in Ruthin, N Wales
Some streets became passable only on foot

Power failures also affected homes in south Wales on Wednesday morning, thousands of households from Monmouthshire in the east to Pembrokeshire in the west without electricity.

Areas hit particularly hard include the south east, south west and Cardiff and Western Power Distribution is warning there could be more problems caused by electrical storms later.

Phil Davies, network services manager for Western Power in Wales, said staff had worked through the night to try to restore power.

Schools closed

There were also reports of localised flooding at Cathays in Cardiff and Pontllanfraith in the Gwent Valleys.

Willows School in Cardiff has been closed because of flooding as has the early learning unit at Gladstone Road primary school in Cathays.

The summer floods follow hard on the heels of last autumn's flooding which caused widespread devastation across Wales.

Some residents still have not returned to their homes and local councils have put action plans into place and flooding defence measures are being overhauled.

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See also:

04 Jul 01 | Wales
Lightning strikes city shop
04 Jul 01 | Scotland
Severe weather hits south and west
30 Oct 00 | Wales
Storms wreak chaos around Wales
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