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Storm Callum: Rivers rising as downpours continue

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Tristram Davies

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River levels in Carmarthen have been rising

Rivers have started to burst their banks as heavy rain from Storm Callum causes havoc for a second day.

More than 30 flood warnings are in place with one village on evacuation alert and other towns on alert from rising water.

One person had to be evacuated from a first floor window on Saturday morning.

The Met Office’s amber warning to expect flooding runs until 18:00 BST while the rest of Wales is on yellow possible flooding alert until midnight.

A further two flood warnings are in place in Scotland while 2,000 homes and businesses in England are without power with some flood defences breached.

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Emma Phillips

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Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire has also been hit by flooding

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Vanessa Zara Davies

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One of the routes into Crickhowell was blocked on Saturday morning

Friday’s poor weather caused power cuts, travel chaos and damage to property across south Wales and has spilled into Saturday.

In Aberaman, Rhondda Cynon Taff, one resident was rescued from a first floor window by fire crews and other residents were evacuated as a precaution, although they were allowed to return their home shortly after 11:00.

One entrance into Crickhowell, Powys, has been blocked off, as has Aberdulais, near Neath, where residents have been advised to leave their homes due to the high level of the River Neath.

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Michael Bolton

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The River Neath is close to reaching the level of the aqueduct at Aberdulais

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A road into Aberdulais has been blocked by flood water

Vicki LeClerc, who lives in one of the 29 properties, said all residents stayed in their homes overnight, despite offers to transport them away, but water levels have continued to rise.

“The canal is coming over the banks,” she said.

“Three doors down it has started coming into the houses and the sewage drains may burst. It’s going to come into our house soon.

“My piano is currently on the sofa and everything we can salvage is upstairs. We’re just going to sit and wait and see how bad it gets.”

Businesses along Carmarthen quayside have been warned of potential flooding with the River Towy breaching its banks.

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Lowri Mair Price

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Flood water runs through Talysarn, near Lampeter

Sioned Warrell, from Natural Resources Wales, said: “We have seen a significant amount of rain over the last 24 hours and this will continue today.

“We have already seen this impact on the roads and we could see more flooding as the rain flows down from the mountains.”

A number of key routes including the A470 Merthyr bypass, the A40 at Llanwrda Carmarthenshire and part of the M48 Severn Bridge have been closed due to flooding and high winds.

The A5 eastbound has also been shut at Bethesda, Gwynedd due to a landslip.

Public transport is not faring much better.

Arriva Trains Wales, on its last day of running the rail franchise in Wales, has revised its timetable due to the weather but warned people not to travel as rail replacement bus services may also be hampered.

The move follows a train getting stuck in flood water near Penrhiwceiber, Rhondda Cynon Taff, where 30 passengers had to be rescued.

A train operator statement said: “Due to the severe disruption to train services, lack of available road transport caused by local road conditions, customers are advised not to travel as journey completion cannot be guaranteed.

Some ferry services to Ireland from Fishguard and Holyhead have also been cancelled and passengers have been advised to check before travelling.

On Friday, gusts hit 72mph (116km) at Capel Curig in Conwy with 15mm (0.6in) of rain falling in three hours near St Davids on Friday.

Thousands of homes lost power due to strong winds and falling branches but engineers have worked through the night to get the majority of people back on, with the worst of the winds believed to have passed.

Amber warnings can mean:

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Frank Moore

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Aberystwyth seafront on Friday afternoon

  • Spray and flooding leading to difficult driving conditions and some road closures
  • Delays and cancellations to some train and bus services are likely
  • Fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely
  • Homes and businesses could be flooded, causing damage to some buildings
  • Some communities could be cut off by flooded roads
  • Power cuts and loss of other services to some homes and businesses are likely
  • Yellow warnings are issued for less severe weather

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