Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 16:30 UK

Homes evacuated in estate flood

Flooding in Senghenydd near Caerphilly Photo: Luke Sutton
Luke Sutton took this photo of flooding in Senghenydd near Caerphilly

Up to 100 homes were evacuated after flooding in Rhondda Cynon Taf last night.

Fifteen people were looked after in a community centre at Rhydfelin, near Pontypridd, after three culverts were overwhelmed following torrential rain.

One councillor estimated that between 30 and 40 homes were flooded.

South Wales Fire and Rescue were also called to flooding incidents in Caerphilly, Pontypridd and Roath, Rhiwbina and Whitchurch in Cardiff.

South Wales Police said they received around 450 calls about flooding in the Pontypridd, Cardiff and Caerphilly areas between 1500 BST and 2300 on Saturday.

Residents in Cilfynydd and Rhydyfelin in Rhondda Cynon Taf say flood water damaged homes and gardens.

In some houses the flooding reached the ceiling and in the Cynon valley, homes were hit by flood water while council leaders said people were hospitalised due to broken limbs and swallowing dirty water.

Councillor Maureen Webber, who represents the Rhydfelin Central ward on Rhondda Cynon Taf council, said there had been a series of floods on the estate over 30 years but the "force of the water was quite unbelievable".

She said: "I'm really upset to think people have had to suffer again because of the force of nature. It's ironic thing because we've just attracted a huge sum of money, somewhere in the region of £2.4m to alleviate the problem."

Resident Mandy Hallett came home after a day out to find a fire crew pumping out her house.

She told BBC Radio Wales: "I've been across the top road and all the walls are down. I've seen people carrying their kids across the road... they've been crying.

"There was one old lady up there who was really cold and I put blankets on her and you've got people taking their doors off the hinges to try to stop the water going through the house".

Flood water near homes in Rhydyfelin Photo: Philip Woods
Flood water near homes in Rhydyfelin on Saturday

A spokeswoman for the Glyntaff Tenants and Residents' Association said that 12 adults and two children had spent the night at the community centre. Many more people, some with babies, had stayed with relations in the area.

The spokesperson said: "Most people who had to leave their homes are hoping to go home tonight but quite a few who stayed the night at the community centre will have no chance because of the damage to their homes.

"We appreciate all the help we have had from everybody in the community. We had donations of clothing and towels, because everyone was soaked through, as well as duvets and sleeping bags."

She added that the residents had been told to expect representatives Newydd Housing Association to arrive with an action plan for clearing up the flood damage.

Liberal Democrat councillor John Bell, who represents Treforest, said he spent hours up to his knees in flood water trying to help the efforts to clear drains in Cemetery Road.

James Andriola, landlord of the Railway Inn in Nelson, Caerphilly, says he has been hit by flooding four times.

"The people here and in other areas of Treforest were badly hit by the floods last September. They were promised by RCT highways that it would not happen again, that preventative measures would be taken."

He said it was "heartbreaking" for them to watch it happen again and he claimed it was "hours" before anyone from the highways department turned up.

"They lifted one manhole cover and left saying there was nothing else they could do as they had no sand bags or flood signs," he said.

This was an exceptional situation that saw a massive amount of rainfall in such a short period of time. Systems in place by all responding agencies found it difficult to cope
Cllr Andrew Morgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf

But Cllr Andrew Morgan, cabinet member for highways, said he was "frustrated" that the effort of staff was being "undermined" by the Liberal Democrats.

"Council staff, many of whom worked until 4am today after being called away from their families at short notice yesterday, are back in work as we speak, doing what they can to help residents," he said.

Mr Morgan added: "They will be at work until late this evening and it is demoralising that the perceived actions of one element of this far-reaching, multi-agency response is already being criticised when their work is far from over."

He said it was an "exceptional situation," which saw a massive amount of rainfall in a short period of time."

"Systems in place by all responding agencies found it difficult to cope," he said.

Mr Morgan said workers had to clear 40 tonnes of rubble that had slid from the mountain into one culvert.

in flood water at Cemetery Road, Treforest
Councillor John Bell up to his knees in flood water at Cemetery Road, Treforest trying to clear drains

"Individual emergencies like this, across not only Rhondda Cynon Taf but its neighbouring boroughs, combine to show the sheer scale of what the council, partner agencies and the community were up against, with no warning," he said.

"Life and property were at risk and, as such, the response was commanded and coordinated by the police and the fire service, not just across our county but the whole of the region."

"At present, our main aim remains dealing with the aftermath of the rainfall and ensuring we are doing what we can to support our communities who have been hit so hard by this emergency."

The council had been due to start major work on a culvert in Cilfynydd Road on Monday before the flood hit and a decision will be taken on when that can start.

There was also a report of flooding to homes in Pandy Road in Bedwas, Caerphilly, with fire crews unblocking drains on Saturday afternoon.

All three Welsh fire and rescue services on Sunday morning said they had not been called to any further incidents so far and Environment Agency Wales said flooding had stabilised.

The agency said it had been working with local authority colleagues through the night to monitor river levels and assess damage.

"This morning it became apparent that several ordinary watercourses in Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taff had flooded a significant number of properties," said a spokesman.

For further information about flooding and to find out if your home is at risk, the Environment Agency Floodline is on 0845 988 1188.


You have been letting us know your experiences. Here are a selection:

Waterloo Gardens in Penylan, Cardiff on Saturday evening Photo: Sarah Tamsin
Waterloo Gardens in Penylan, Cardiff on Saturday evening

I live in bedwas but i was down my fiances down in penarth at the time. The first i heard about it was when i rang my mum and she told me our street and garden was under water. I was on my way home to bedwas at the time and was told to turn back because police had closed the roads and the buses from caerphilly had been diverted!!
steph mcgloin, bedwas

I drove under a railway bridge yesterday and when I went back there 20 minutes later there was a sky van stuck with water upto it's windows! almost every road around Pontypridd had some form of flooding!
Beth Roberts, Pontypridd

We were on our way home from merthyr when we realised we could not get into rhydyfelin via trefforest we had to drive the wrong way around the roundabout and watched about 4 cars get stuck in high water, When we arrived in rhydyfelin the roads wasnt any better in all 27 years i have lived in rhydyfelin i have never seen it flood so badly, my heart goes out to those whose homes were effected.
Carol Tingle, pontypridd

Drove back from merthyr to cardiff yesterday at 4:30ish and the rain was unbelievable, it was monsoon like and the worse i have experienced in this country, the A470 was covered in standing water and driving was at a snails pace....expected at the time that there would be severe flooding, the volume of water coming down so quickly was huge.
ceri davies, cardiff

Flooding in Pontypridd on Saturday evening
Police also had flooding calls in Pontypridd

Also left Merthyr to go home to Rhydyfelin and found the A470 past Abercynon unpredictable. At least the electronic signs warned people of spray on the road, but found deep pools of water which you had to drive around them on the outside lane. After arriving home, looked out of the front window to see the water was a concerning, muddy colour on the main road. I walked the top end of Dynea Road and found the road itself was littered with loose stone and some debris. Further on, the water was cascading down the same road with the danger of possible damage to properties. Along Holly Street cars were being turned back as the camber in the road was completely flooded. I noticed that there was a lot of muddy water from Beech Road cascading towards the flats, again with volume of water threatening to cause damage. This morning I noticed some of the houses near Oak Road has beared the brunt of the flooding, quite a frightening experience for those affected. In terms of a day's rainfall, has to be one of the worse for years.
Dean, Pontypridd

Parts of Nelson and Llanfabon also suffered with flooding. A couple of places in the village regularly flood in heavy rain, but nothing seems to be done about them.
Chris Reaney, Nelson

We at G.T.R.A would like to thank all the volunteers that helped out in yesterdays devastating floods, with out the help that we recived many more homes would have been affected by the events that took place yesterday the residents showed that there is still a good community spirit within rhydyfelin
lyn bond, pontypridd

Just come back from helping my brother clean his house through in rhydyfelin , this is the 3rd time hes been flooded but this time is far worse than the previous ones , The flood water has ruined nearly every item he owns on the ground floor of the property . It has taken most of the morning to try and get the electricity meter changed , at one point the water in front of his house was 4ft. He was told by newydd that it was sorted and wouldnt happen again , he has also been refused contents insurance due to previous flooding . The sad thing is he has only just finished the property after the last floods .
chrissie, pontypridd

I live in church street in bedwas, water came into my house throught the front snd the back doors, i am appalled by the amount of time it took caerphilly county council to get sand bags to us, by the time they arrived the water had gone and the council employees made jokes at our expense about not needing the sand bags now, it took a while for any emergency services to get to the street, my neighbours and i had to take close the road ourselves to stop the cars from going through the flood and forcing more water into our homes.
James Clarke, bedwas

Its annoying, because whenever this happens we are always told that its a one off flood - September 5 2008 for instance. Then, it happens all over again, and those in charge will still do nothing to allebiate the problem.
Paul, Wales

Here in Penylan we were left to get our own sandbags and the county would not even give phone numbers out so that we could call to see if there were any sandbags left. Our houses were only saved due to neighbours with a flat bed lorry collecting and distributing bags from the other side of Cardiff. The environment agency say that it is the Councils responsibility to deliver sandbags.
Angeline Wigham, Cardiff

It has been one of the worse evenings I have ever experienced in the Abervalley, many areas have been hit hard by flooding including my own street in Church road and Commercial street in Senghenydd but to name two, I have visited many residents this morning that have been hit by flooding in the local area, but I was humbled to see the community spirit that was displayed with neighbours helping each other with the clean up, and the council responding the best they could in Abervalley area even though there was such an unprecedented level of rain received all over Caerphilly and the surrounding areas.
Cllr Lyndon Binding, Abervalley, Caerphilly



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