Carmarthenshire Leader calls for national strategy on flood defences
The Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council has called on Welsh Government to make investment in flood defences a national strategic priority.
Cllr Emlyn Dole has made the call after another weekend of flooding which has affected homes and businesses in several parts of the county.
He said it was heart-wrenching to see people facing yet another clean-up and said the frequency and intensity of flooding needs a national strategy.
Carmarthenshire County Council mobilised a co-ordinated response over the weekend to prepare and help affected communities and supported partners agencies and emergency services, including Natural Resources Wales which is the primary agency for main river flooding.
Flooding affected parts of Carmarthen, Newcastle Emlyn, Llanybydder, Pontweli, Llandysul, Pontargothi and Llangadog.
Speaking on Monday, Cllr Dole said:
“Once again there are homes, businesses and communities that have had terrific difficulties with the rain and flooding and some are facing the process of cleaning and starting over once again.
“Carmarthenshire has been hit on several occasions since Storm Callum (in 2018). This weekend rivers reached levels precariously close to that reached during Storm Callum. It’s evident that flooding is becoming more frequent and more intense.
“Its impact isn’t any less devastating every time we see it - knowing from experience how long it takes to recover and seeing that is heart-wrenching.
“It can’t continue in this way - events that were once one in 100 years have turned into four in a year and a half.
“We’ve worked with all agencies to support Natural Resources Wales who are the primary agency in response to river flooding.
“Flooding must be a strategic national priority. We need investment in flood defences - we are calling on Welsh Government to make this a strategic national priority.
“We can’t continue with this repeated devastation. Residents are waking up to another clean-up once again. I will continue to seek these reassurances.”
The Leader has thanked the council’s workforce who supported communities over the weekend, and said the clear-up, safety assessment and support will continue.
“The efforts made by our staff throughout the weekend has been extraordinary and will continue today,” he said.
“We put rest centres in place and put updates out to the communities throughout the weekend. Our communities and health and safety teams mobilised to set up rest centres and visited properties, supported by the Delta Wellbeing team.
“Our highways team responded throughout Friday and Saturday. High-capacity water pumps were deployed, sandbags were placed at strategic locations and a crew was put in place to support residents and respond to highway flooding.
“Several roads were closed. The highways team started the clear up as soon as waters receded. Our engineers have inspected bridges and further highways inspections will take place.
“We will be visiting businesses that were affected today.”
Anyone who needs assistance following the flooding should call 01267 234567.