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Commonwealth Games 2002

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SERVICES 
Monday, 4 February, 2002, 19:56 GMT
More flood warnings as rivers swell
Abervavenny
Abergavenny is saturated by the River Usk's surplus
A number of new flood warnings have been issued for Wales as people attempt to clean after four days of storms.

Two severe flood warnings - the highest alerts when life may be in danger - remain in place, on the River Wye at Monmouth and on the River Monnow nearby, on Monday evening.

And Enviroment Agency Wales has increased the number of flood warnings across the country to 14.

Forecasters predict an easing of the heavy rain overnight but warn of localised heavy showers and of the rainwater which has still to make its way off the mountains over saturated ground.

Landslide near Abergavenny blocks Heads of the Valleys
The A465 could be blocked for days

The flood warnings issued by the environment agency include: the Lower Dee Valley from Llangollen to Chester; Pool Quay to Crew Green; River Wye, Hay to Hereford; and the Upper Dee Valley down to Llangollen including Corwen.

Emergency teams have been assessing the damage after Wales was hit by the worst storms in the UK overnight on Sunday.

Around 20 families were evacuated from their mobile homes in Monmouth as the River Wye burst its banks, flooding three streets.

Monmouthshire County Council estimated the landslip on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road at Clydach Gorge on Saturday 2 February would take around four days to clear.

Schools closed
Greenhill Comprehensive, Tenby
Llanfaes CP, Brecon
Clydach Primary, Abergavenny (to Weds)
Osbaston Infants and Junior Schools, Monmouth (and on Tuesday)
Overmonnow Primary School, Monmouth
Brecon High School reopens on Tuesday
Caerleon Comprehensive School, Newport, closed on Tuesday

Engineers will then look at the damage, remove slurry and install rockfill near the top of the slope to prevent the back of the slip getting worse.

Burst water and sewerage mains had hindered efforts to estimate the scale of the work.

The local authority said 18 families from two streets in Clydach - Maes Glas and Church Lane - had been asked to find alternative accommodation for safety reasons.

However, the Wye bridge in Monmouth remained open despite the heavy flow of water in the river.

In the south Wales Valleys, Torfaen council issued 700 sandbags to residents at Ponthir and Llanyrafon along the River Afon Llwyd where it is most at risk of flooding.

The local authority says workers were on duty around the clock on the weekend clearing culverts and drains and so far the river has held itself in place.

Road delays
A465 Heads of the Valleys remains closed near Gilwern due to a landslip
The A466 Monmouth to Tintern road is closed at Tintern Bridge
The M48 is closed at the Old Severn Crossing
Other minor roads by the Wye and Monnow rivers are also likely to flood

And Valley Lines brought in a bus to replace its rail service between Fernhill and Aberdare due to flooding on the line in the Cwmbach area.

A number of schools in south Wales have been shut due to flooding and storm damage.

Rugby fans flying home after Wales's crushing Six Nations rugby defeat in Ireland have had their own problems.

Airlines report delays on flights due in on Monday evening from Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

And a fisherman who was rescued by coastguards after being swept off a stone pier into the sea at Porthcawl on Saturday remains in a critical condition at Bridgend's Princess of Wales Hospital.

Rugby fans returning from Wales' fruitless jaunt to Dublin can expect to endure a rough ride once more on their return home.

Disruption at Dublin Airport has also left some airline fans arriving only to find their luggage still has to make the journey.

Heavy rain

Meanwhile, a salvage team is due to reboard a stricken cargo ship grounded on the Cornish coast in heavy seas Saturday, causing an oil leak.

While flooding eased on Sunday, the ground has become saturated.

More heavy rain is due to sweep south, mid and west Wales in the form of localised dowpours.

But with the ground already saturated and the rivers full, the potential for more flooding remains high as the water finds its way off high ground.

Rubber dinghies

Monmouth councillor David Waring visited the town's Riverside Park caravan site Sunday night to persuade flooded residents to leave.

"The emergency services have been using rubber dinghies to get into the park and collect people," he said.

John Rowlands of the Environment Agency in Wales said: "There is concern about Monmouth itself.

"The peak flow in the River Wye was about midnight and it's remained at that level.

"We are talking about the forces of nature here, but if you compare this incident with previous ones, it is not very spectacular.

"But every individual it affects, it is extremely traumatic for them."

Mr Rowlands encouraged people to check news bulletins and the agency's website for the latest information.

He said sandbags could be used to stem the flow and valuables taken to upstairs floors to avoid damage.

Disrupted? E-mail us with news of school and road closures

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales's Penny Roberts
"Monmouth is taking the brunt of the latest storm."
The BBC's Robert Hall reports from Monmouth
"Things here have been getting progressively worse"
Environment Agency's John Rowlands
"We are talking about forces of nature"

Talking PointTALKING POINT
Gale-hit Britain
Send us your experiences of the storms
See also:

03 Feb 02 | Wales
Mopping up begins after floods
03 Feb 02 | Scotland
Crew rescued from stricken boat
02 Feb 02 | Wales
Warning of more floods to come
01 Feb 02 | Northern Ireland
Storms threaten power supplies
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