30th anniversary of Towyn floods: AM calls for further improvements to sea defences

On the 30th anniversary of the devastating Towyn Floods, Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar has called for further improvement in sea defences along the Towyn and Kinmel Bay coastline.

On Monday 26 February 1990, a combination of storm-force winds, a high tide and extreme wave conditions caused a 400m long breach of the sea wall in Towyn causing severe flooding and the subsequent evacuation of more than 2,800 homes and businesses.

Darren was a teenager at the time and his family home, a bungalow, was hit. His family were unable to move back into their home for six months while building work was carried out.   

Although, Towyn and Kinmel Bay did not suffer significant flooding in the recent storms Ciara and Dennis, Darren is concerned that they was some overtopping of the coastal defences at Sandy Cove and is therefore calling for further improvement in sea defences along the Towyn and Kinmel Bay coastline.   

Raising the matter with the Welsh Government’s Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, in the Welsh Parliament yesterday, he said:

“One of the near misses that we had during the recent storms was on the coast in Kinmel Bay, in the community of Sandy Cove. It was 30 years ago this week that that community suffered the devastating Towyn floods, along with other communities along the north Wales coast, but, clearly, having a near miss in a community that suffered such devastation in the past is a huge concern.

“What support can you make available as rapidly as possible for communities on the coast in Towyn and Kinmel Bay to ensure that their flood defences are robust and up-to-scratch, so that they can avoid the sort of devastation that people in Rhondda Cynon Taf and elsewhere have suffered in recent weeks?”

The Minister said there had been “a lot of near misses” across Wales and agreed there is a “need to look to make sure our flood alleviation schemes right across Wales are up for the job”.

Darren added: “I have repeatedly called for investment in Towyn and Kinmel Bay flood defences, which showed their vulnerability in recent weeks and, but for the wind direction, would have been overwhelmed. We can’t waste any more time, action is needed and it is needed now”.