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Sunday, 3 February, 2002, 13:41 GMT
Mopping up begins after floods
Bridge End Inn, Crickhowell
The Bridge End Inn, Crickhowell, was badly affected
Residents of mid and south Wales have begun mopping up as the heavy rain and winds which brought chaos across the nation began easing.

The town of Crickhowell, mid Wales, became accessible again on Sunday after being cut off by floodwater.

Pumping floodwater in Crickhowell, mid Wales
The pumps were working flat out in the floods

But several people had to be evacuated from their homes following landslips in south Wales.

Meanwhile a fisherman remained critically ill after he was swept into the sea at Porthcawl, south Wales, by a huge wave on Saturday.

There were still 22 flood watches and 11 flood warnings in force on Sunday, and one severe flood warning for the River Wye in Monmouth, south Wales.

Other areas causing concern were the Lower Dee Valley, north Wales, between Llangollen and Chester, and several parts of the River Teifi in Ceredigion, west Wales.

15 families had to leave their homes on Saturday night after a landslip blocked the A465 Heads of the Valleys road at Clydach Gorge, south Wales.

Another ten people were evacuated from bungalows at Cwm near Ebbw Vale after a railway embankment collapsed.

Mopping up

However, flood waters around Crickhowell have now fallen allowing access to the town which was cut off on Saturday.

Elaine Baker at the Bridge End Inn, Crickhowell, mid Wales
Elaine Baker was trapped upstairs in her pub

Several properties were flooded and many people began to try salvaging whatever possessions they could.

Howard Baker, landlord of the Bridge End Inn, said it was the worst flooding Crickhowell had seen for 30 years.

The premises were one of the worst affected with the bar flooded by two feet of water.

Mr Baker estimated the cost of the damage to be up to 25,000.

But he was able to start clearing up on Sunday in time for customers to watch the Ireland-Wales rugby match on television.

Flooded bar at Bridge End Inn, Crickhowell, mid Wales
The bar was under two feet of water

"All the water has been pumped out of the cellars - we've had to pull all the carpets up because they're ruined," he said.

"But we're actually serving beer for the match ... they can all watch the telly which we managed to salvage as well."

Despite the calmer weather, driving conditions were still hazardous in many areas.

Emergency services and other authorities were warning people not to travel unless they absolutely had to.

Coastguards had warned people not to visit coastal areas after an angler was swept into the sea off Porthcawl Pier, south Wales, on Saturday.

Warnings ignored

Porthcawl harbourmaster Les Pearce said he tried to warn the man about the risk he was taking shortly before he was swept off the pier by a huge wave.

Coastguard vessel at Porthcawl, south Wales
Coastguards and lifeboats joined the search

Rescuers from the Porthcawl RNLI inshore lifeboat thought at first that he was dead.

They found he was unconscious but still alive after giving him resuscitation.

The man, who is thought to be from Swansea, was taken to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, south Wales.

He was said to be critically ill in the hospital's intensive care unit.

For further information call:

Floodline 0845 9881188

Howard Baker, Bridge End Inn, Crickhowell
"All the carpets have gone ... all the stock in the cellar has gone"
The BBC's John McIntyre
"It's been a testing time for the Mid and West Wales Fire Brigade"
Elaine Baker, Bridge End Inn, Crickhowell
"It's just a sick feeling because you know everything downstairs is ruined"
See also:

02 Feb 02 | Wales
Warning of more floods to come
01 Feb 02 | Wales
Storms rage across Wales
01 Feb 02 | Wales
Travel chaos for rugby fans
01 Feb 02 | Northern Ireland
Storms cut power supplies
01 Feb 02 | UK
Storms batter Britain
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