Page last updated at 19:34 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 20:34 UK

Flooding brings chaos to county

People look at the flooded river  Usk in Brecon (Picture; Steve Thomas)
People look at the flooded river Usk in Brecon

Heavy rain has brought flooding disruption to several parts of Powys.

Council officials have set up emergency rest areas at leisure centres in Brecon and Newtown for people unable to make it home.

Children in Brecon were sent to their local centre when buses were unable to reach their schools.

Some properties remain flooded in parts of Powys and occupiers whose premises were flooded during the day have begun mopping-up.

Fire crews have been pumping out the Boar's Head public house in The Struett in Brecon and have also been called to flooded homes in the town and at Penybont near Llandrindod Wells where the River Ithon has flooded.

Homes were also flooded at Felinfach and Merthyrcynog.

Earlier 155 children from Cradoc junior school at Brecon were taken to the town's leisure centre for shelter.

Meanwhile, a primary school in Nantmel, near Llandrindod Wells, was flooded on Friday morning. Parents and staff had tried to hold back the water with sandbags.

A culvert behind the school overflowed, flooding into three classrooms.

A RAF crew member is winched to the vehicle.
A driver was rescued by an RAF helicopter on a river near Welshpool

Council staff will work over the weekend clearing up so the school can reopen on Monday, said officials.

Meanwhile, the A40 was closed in both directions between Brecon and Sennybridge.

Many roads in Powys are still affected by floodwater and drivers are being urged to take extra care.

The delays and disruption come after a motorist became trapped in his 4x4 in the River Rhiw near Welshpool on Thursday. He was rescued by an RAF helicopter.

The 60-year-old had been trying to cross a ford when he became stranded.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they had been inundated with requests for help.

A spokeswoman said she had not experienced such a large volume of calls in her 13 years with the brigade.

BBC weather forecaster Liam Dutton said almost 1.5 inches (38.1mm) of rain had fallen in parts of mid Wales between midnight and 1500 BST, with Lake Vyrnwy in north Powys recording rainfall of 33.8mm and Sennybridge, near Brecon, 32.8mm.

The stormy start to September follows the wettest August in Wales since 1992.

Environment Agency Wales said rivers are "unseasonably high" following the recent rainfall and emergency services are on alert as Wales could feel the brunt of the first of the autumn storms.

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