More than 1,000 homes confirmed to have flooded in Wales during recent storms
More than 1,000 homes and hundreds of businesses in Wales were flooded in recent storms, the Welsh Government has confirmed.
Welsh Government minister Lesley Griffiths described the damage caused as “absolutely devastating” for those affected and for “Wales as a nation”.
A number of flood warnings remain across the country, including on the River Severn, with Mrs Griffiths warning that the “threat of flooding” had not yet passed.
The Assembly Member for Wrexham told a briefing in Cardiff Bay that the cost of the damage was expected to run into “tens of millions of pounds”, which the Welsh Government would not be able to fund.
Local authorities have confirmed than more than 1,000 homes were flooded, with unconfirmed reports of more than 300 businesses also affected, she said.
“The number of properties that have been affected and the damage and losses caused over the last two weeks right across Wales have been absolutely devastating for the individuals and I think also for Wales as a nation,” Mrs Griffiths said.
“I came down from north to south Wales yesterday and to see the impact everywhere – it really, really hits you.
“These were very, very significant storm events, I think we have to recognise that. A month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours.”
River levels in many places across Wales hit record or near-record levels in the wake of both Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.
The River Taff, which caused devastation in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area of south Wales including the town of Pontypridd, was 80cm higher than during widespread flooding in 1979.
Mrs Griffiths said flood defences had meant more than 9,000 properties were protected from flooding on the River Taff alone, with a total of 73,000 homes across Wales protected.
On Monday, the Welsh Government announced that all households affected by flooding would receive £500, with an additional £500 available to those without house insurance cover.
First Minister Mark Drakeford and Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, chaired a meeting on coal tip safety following the recent storms.
“They discussed having a database of where we know the tips are,” Mrs Griffiths said.
“We obviously know where those coal tips are and they’re monitored very, very closely.
“I think a single point of contact with the public was an area that they discussed.
“This is obviously a legacy of our coal mining history.
“It is something that is continually monitored.
“I think it was a very constructive meeting and those discussions will continue.”
On Monday, a spokeswoman for the UK Government said it had been in “regular touch” with emergency services, local authorities, public bodies and the Welsh Government following the flooding.
Flood hardship payments made to individuals and families will not affect their eligibility for benefits issued by the Department for Work and Pensions, she confirmed.
“Flood defences and the response to flooding in Wales are a responsibility of the Welsh Government but the Secretary of State for Wales told the First Minister that the UK Government will look seriously at any request from the Welsh Government for additional support and assistance for flood relief,” the spokeswoman said.