Page last updated at 08:15 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Warning over rising river levels

Police car and tractor with flood water
Driving has been hazardous in places like Llanfair Talhaiarn, Conwy

Nine flood warnings are in place across Wales after a night of rain, while the Environment Agency says that river levels are continuing to rise.

North Wales has been worst affected, but emergency services say only several isolated homes have been flooded.

So far, disruption has been restricted to large amounts of surface water on roads, with a few closed.

While any rain is expected to ease later on Friday, more heavy downpours are expected on Saturday.

The Environment Agency warned that if river levels continued to rise, the agency could issue severe flood warnings for certain areas in north Wales.

Chris Mills, director of Environment Agency Wales, said: "Rivers are high across Wales but only a handful of properties have actually been flooded.

"We've got a bit of a lull today, thank goodness, but we are expecting more rain tomorrow so we've got to stay on a very high state of alert.

Flooding in the Conwy Valley
The Conwy Valley in north Wales has been badly hit by flooding

"We've had heavy rain overnight so clearly that will start to put the levels back up again. But they will stabilise today and we have got this break in the weather which will allow some of the water to get away.

"People must try to stay away from rivers - they are very, very dangerous in these situations - and don't drive or try to walk through flood waters. It's extremely dangerous and we have experienced problems in the past there."

Of most concern are the rivers Conwy and Dee, according to the agency.

Other flood warnings were issued for: Abergwili; Dyfi Valley and Machylleth; the River Wye at Monmouth; Pontargothi and Pontynyswen; Rivers Mawddach, Wnion and the town of Dolgellau.

Agency staff are on 24-hour alert continuously monitoring river levels and officers on the ground are on stand-by to check flood defences, clear river blockages and install flood barriers where necessary.

Ferries cancelled

In Gwynedd, roads affected include the A4086 at Nant Peris, which was closed between Market Street, Llanberis and the A498 Pen-y-pass, along with the A4085, which was closed at Betws Garmon between the B4418 and Paint Y Waun.

In Wrexham, the A525 was closed in both directions at Bangor-on-Dee between the B5130 at Cross Lanes and the B5069 Whitchurch Road.

Meanwhile, Irish Ferries have cancelled all Swift sailings between Holyhead and Dublin on Saturday due to the weather

All passengers will be accommodated on the cruise ferry MV Ulysses, which leaves Holyhead on Saturday at 0240 and 1410 GMT, and Dublin at 0805 and 2055 GMT.



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