150 people rescued as floods devastate villages in mid Wales
AROUND 150 people had to be rescued from homes and caravans in mid Wales yesterday after severe flooding which left villages cut off and forced the helicopter evacuation of a lifeboat crew, which got into difficulty in fast-flowing waters.
Villages in Ceredigion were left isolated in the floods, which ravaged houses and left holiday parks flooded.
Three people sustained minor injuries, while scores of others were rescued by fire crews, coastguard lifeboats, and RAF Sea King helicopters. The flooding, which was at its worst on Friday night, saw water levels reach up to five feet in places.
Sergeant Dickie Myers, an RAF search and rescue crew member, said: “The water level was above car levels in some places, and up to the windows of static caravans.”
One lifeboat team near Borth needed to be airlifted to safety after helping to pluck a disabled man from a flooded caravan. In a statement, the RNLI said: “The force of the river current, with the amount of debris in the water, made returning to their original launch site too dangerous and once everyone had been evacuated, the crew decided to secure the lifeboat and were airlifted to safety by helicopter.”
Residents described scenes of devastation but communities pulled together to provide food and shelter.
Jenny Evans, 42, of Stafford, who owns a caravan at the Beachside Caravan Park, said: “One of our neighbours had to be rescued from her static caravan this morning. She’s in her mid-70s.”
Paul Mott, senior forecaster with MeteoGroup, said that 81mm of rain fell in the 24 hours to 7am yesterday at Trawscoed, Ceredigion, while some areas in that region would have had 150mm over the same period.
Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan said: “This has been a very impressive operation in horrific weather conditions and with unprecedented flood levels.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east