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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 22:33 GMT
Flood chaos spreads
Motorist airlifted by rescue helicopter
The three people were pulled from the top of the car recovery van

At the end of day which has seen chaos across north, west and mid Wales, severe flood alerts have now spread to rivers in the south.

Warning of severe and imminent flooding, the Environment Agency has put severe flood warnings on four stretches of the river Rhondda at Ferndale, Treherbert, Pentre and Porth and two on the river Usk at Brecon and Crickhowell.

The warnings came at the end of a day which has seen torrential rain wreak havoc - particularly in the north where three motorists had to be winched from a lorry trapped in five feet of water, entire town and villages were cut off, homes were flooded and countless roads remain impassable.

Severe flood warning advice
Protect yourself, your family and pets
Cooperate with emergency services
Be prepared to be evacuated
Stay tuned to radio, TV bulletin
Be prepared for power cuts
Avoid contact with flood water
Ring Floodline 0845 988 1188
And there is a chance it could happen all over again on Wednesday as an Environment Agency spokesman said that "a further band of heavy rain is expected to last for most of Wednesday giving a repeat of Tuesday's rainfall event".

The dramatic RAF rescue happened in the village of Trefriw near Llanrwst in Conwy, north Wales, where a breakdown recovery van had picked up two motorists and then became stranded in rising water which reached up to the dashboard.

Coastguard watch manager Geoff Lunt said all three people had to climb on board the roof of the vehicle.

"They are all reported as being unharmed despite one of the Llandudno coastguards describing the flooding as the worst he has seen in the area."

The Environment Agency had issued a total of 52 flood watches, 42, flood warnings and six severe flood warnings across Wales by Tuesday evening.

River at Capel Curig where five inches of rain fell overnight (photo courtesy Lucinda Manouch)
Part of a bridge submerged by a swollen river on a Capel Curig farm
Meanwhile, several houses in the Conwy are continuing to mop up - Trefriw and Llanrwst are cut off, five schools have been closed and a main road shut because of a landslide in neighbouring Gwynedd.

Village pubs are being used as makeshift rescue centres for residents whose homes are currently uninhabitable.

People living in Llanrwst said the flooding as the worst they had ever seen. Speaking earlier on Tuesday, resident Emyr Jones said: "The water is streaming off the mountains and spouting out of manholes. And it is still raining hard. It is the worst it has been in at least 23 years."

To the south of Llanrwst, the towns of Betws y Coed and Dolwyddelan were hit and a culvert in the centre of the village of Dyffryn Ardudwy - between Barmouth and Harlech - overflowed into the road and some properties.

And Gwynedd Council said about 15 tonnes of scree was on the road on the A4086 road at Nant Peris, which was closed because of a landslide at Pont Cromlech. A number of other roads have also been shut.

The mopping up operation begins
Sandbags proved to be no defence against torrential rain
Trains have not escaped the disruption with the Conwy Valley line closed between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno Junction, as well as the Cambrian Line between Machynlleth and Newtown.

Meanwhile, farmland areas of west Wales have been flooded, with water on some football pitches rising halfway up the goalposts.

In mid Wales, Powys County Council said heavy rain brought localised risk of flooding on roads.

The promenade in Brecon is under several feet of water and three homes in Crickhowell, one in Llangattock, and one in Brecon had flooded by the early evening.

For up-to-date information, call the Floodline on 0845 988 1188.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Wyre Davies
"The worse may not yet be over"



SEE ALSO:
Couple's heartache as flood strikes
03 Feb 04  |  North West Wales
Flood alert hits commuters
03 Feb 04  |  Cumbria


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