Clwyd West MS Darren Millar has welcomed a proposed plan of action to prevent further flooding in Ruthin, but expressed concern at the length of time it has taken to make progress.
In January a number of residents in Ruthin had to evacuate their homes after they were flooded during Storm Christoph. Roads and large areas of land in the area were also affected.
Following the event, a series of recommended actions were outlined in the Storm Christoph flood investigation report.
Natural Resources Wales have been working through these recommendations and in their October 2021 update to residents outlined their work to date and scheduled over the next year.
So far they have completed a survey of the Ruthin flood risk management scheme and checked the condition of the embankments. The defects reported included tree blockages which they have now been removed. There was also some damage to the flood defence wall, near the petrol station, which is now repaired. Work to repair wall damage near the fire station are still in negotiation as access is required across Ministry of Defence land.
Following the floods, a temporary sandbag wall was built along Cae Ddôl to increase the standard of protection for properties on Mill and Clwyd streets. NRW have returned to the site many times to repair damage to the sandbag wall. Temporary fencing is still in place in some places to prevent damage to the flood embankment.
The local NRW team will be starting work in mid-October to return the crest height along Cae Ddôl embankment back to its original level. The sandbag wall will be removed as works are completed, and sandbags will be left for the community’s contingency use.
Darren welcomes the actions, but is frustrated it is taking so long for the work to be done.
“Whilst I am very pleased that NRW are addressing the issues in Ruthin, it is long overdue.
“These homes were flooded back in January, yet it has taken until mid-October for them to start work on restoring Cae Ddôl embankment.”
“As someone whose family home was hit by the Towyn Floods back in 1990, I know how devastating it is to have your home destroyed. We were unable to move back into our home for 6 months as my parents battled with the insurance company and oversaw the building repairs. It was awful and it has saddened me to witness further homes being flooded in North Wales in recent years.
“Whilst we cannot prevent extreme weather conditions, we should be able to reduce risk of flooding to existing homes and businesses through a combination of flood defence improvements and efficient flood warning systems. I am pleased that there are three flood warning services in Ruthin covering 545 properties.: River Clwyd at Ruthin Town – 332 properties; River Clwyd at Lôn Fawr – 64 properties and River Clwyd at Glasdir, Ruthin – 149 properties, and urge those in the area not already registered to receive free flood warnings to do this by visiting the NRW website www.naturalresources.wales/flooding or by contacting Floodline on 0345 988 1188.”