Thursday, 29 November 2012

Llanfair Talhaearn - disaster area

I have just accidentally deleted a whole post about the flooding in Llanfair Talhaearn, and will endeavour to remember what I wrote.  No idea how that happened!

I am sure everyone will have realised that Llanfair Talhaearn was badly flooded earlier this week.  
 Residents were awoken at 4a.m.on Tuesday by fire sirens, as the Fire and Rescue service alerted  the village to the news that flood water was rushing down the main street.  The River Elwy, which is in a flood plain, was bursting its' banks as it often does (see previous posts!), but the flood defences had kept most of the water away from the village.  However, a "small" tributary of the main river had overflowed its' culvert in the village and had been contained on the wrong side of the flood barriers, eventually filling the carparks and flooding buildings to a depth of several feet.  At one stage water was flowing so fast down the street that sandbags and large chunks of Tarmac were being carried away.  Residents had to be rescued by boat or ferried across the water in the bucket of a tractor.
No-one from the Abergele Guild lives in Llanfair village, but one member who lives in the valley downstream had water lapping at her door, and another was busy in the very early morning taking in distressed neighbours and their dogs.  I live on the hill above Llanfair, and was spared the worst, although I too had water in unwanted places in the house and studio.
The damage in the village is heartbreaking, but thanks to the hard work of the emergency services, residents and helpers, and professional cleaner-uppers, Llanfair is beginning to recover.  We have electricity and the phone lines are being restored.  The mud is gradually being removed from inside buildings and from the roads and carparks.  At one point, The Black Lion hotel was flooded to within a few inches of its' ground floor windows;  our Community Centre is just across the road, and the damage can easily be imagined.  Photographs below...
Obviously we will not be meeting here in the foreseeable future, although the Community Council is confident that the hall can be re-opened soon.  In the meantime, all Abergele Guild meetings are cancelled until further notice.   Members have kindly offered to host afternoon meetings, and news of these will be circulated privately.
The waters subsided rapidly in Llanfair, but passed down through St. Asaph, bringing yet more devastation. Our thoughts are with all of those in the Elwy Valley who have been affected by the flooding.
Alison Craig

Floodwater in the Elwy Valley, Tuesday 27th. November.  The houses visible in the foreground are well above the flood plain.

Close-up of the white water flowing over the A548.  The double line of the hedge can just be seen - the water has torn up large chunks of hedge by the roots

Community Centre Car park, Tuesday morning.  The River Elwy is on the far side of the embankment, where it should be!

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The front entrance of the Community Centre, midday Thursday.  The tidemark can be seen on the wall on the left hand side.

Inside the Community Centre.  The water came up to the top of the black box in the corner. I have rescued the stuff from our noticeboard, but the bottom row of notices will have to be thrown away, as will our tea and coffee from the cupboard in the kitchen.

Frenetic clearing up activity, Wednesday

Mini-digger in the carpark

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