Flooding at a railway underpass at Salisbury Road in Cathays Photo: Rachel Cable

Storm causes flooding chaos across Cardiff

NEARLY a month’s worth of rain has fallen in Cardiff over the last 72 hours, bringing chaos for homeowners and travellers across the area.
Rain and strong winds which lashed the area since Saturday as part of Storm Angus – the first major storm of the winter – have caused a number of problems.
According to South Wales Fire and Rescue 126 calls were made to the service from midday on November 19 to yesterday afternoon. Of these 34 were attended by fire and rescue while 92 calls were directed to local authorities to request sandbags for flood protection.
An emergency response team has also been helping residents of a town in South Wales after almost 100 homes were flooded by Storm Angus.
Red Cross emergency response volunteers Karl Marsh, Rhys Taylor and Jonny Walsh were directed to Maesteg on Sunday morning by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service after flood water rushed through the streets and houses.
Karl Marsh, lead volunteer, said: “The water was flowing down the roads like a river. I’ve never seen anything like it. We were speaking to people through their top floor windows to check that they were okay and, where possible, helped arrange alternative accommodation. We also helped the firefighters to set up barriers to try to divert the water away from threatened properties.”
The volunteers remained at the scene until mid-morning carrying out welfare checks and offering practical advice such as providing information about accessing insurance.
Rob Donovan, emergency response operations manager at the Red Cross, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers who have given up their own time over the last few days supporting our partners and local communities.”
As well as housing, schools from across South Wales have been closed due to flooding.
St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School in Barry was forced to close early yesterday due to flooding which blocked access to a subway needed for pupils and staff to get home.
Deputy Head, Steve Lord, said: “We had to close the school 20 minutes early because the subway access to the school was flooded and if the situation had worsened pupils may have struggled to get home.
“We also have a river outside the school and its water table exceeded the level we would normally expect. The fire service came out to drain the subway and engineers have looked at the pump in the subway which they suspected was blocked. The situation has now been resolved.”
However, a notice on the school’s website warns parents to continue to be aware of flooding in the area. It says: “Unfortunately, looking at the forecast the threat of flooding has not yet subsided and we will continue to remain vigilant and inform you of any changes in circumstances via the school website.”
Meanwhile, Cardinal Newman Catholic Comprehensive School in the village Rhydyfelin has said that despite media reports pupils were not sent home.
Yesterday afternoon, flooding was caused after an internal drain in a store cupboard became overwhelmed. However, no lessons were cancelled and the the issue was solved before any damage was done. The school opened as normal this morning.
According to Natural Resource Wales there are now two flood warnings in South East Wales around the Monmouth area.
Natural Resources Wales have attributed the flooding to the high large amount of rain – with 74.2mm falling in 72 hours compared with a monthly average rainfall for November of 100-120mm.
Spokesperson Jo Westlake explained that as a result of the rain drains became blocked by leaves leaving “nowhere for the water to go.”
Mrs Westlake said: “There’s been widespread problems and lots of separate incidents. It’s caused major transport chaos.”
At Cardiff Central all trains running to London at five minutes to each hour have been cancelled and the services that are running are travelling via Gloucester – adding to journey times.Delays on a noticeboard at Cardiff Central
Great Western Rail have told customers that this is due to flooding in Swindon. There are also delays to trains running to Maesteg and Gloucester.
Arriva have announced that services between Rhoose Cardiff International Airport and Bridgend have now reopened after flooding on the line earlier this
Nathan Hill, 25, who works at the Upper Crust Cafe at Cardiff Station said: “I think a lot of people checked the weather before they came. A lot of people were taking taxis this morning because of the delays.”
Storms have caused particular problems for residents in Cathays, after the wall of a warehouse in Minny Street collapsed last night, damaging people’s sheds and gardens.
According to Cardiff Demolition, the damage was caused by winds of up to 90mph that caused the roof to pick up and the wall to crumble underneath it.
Railway underpasses in Cathays have also been affected, as MP for Cardiff Central for Jo Stevens explained that traffic was unable to get through on Monday night.
There are currently 3 flood warning in place in South West Wales.