image captionUp to 30 people have been forced out of their homes in Bangor-on-Dee, Wrexham
Homes have been evacuated and a major incident declared in one village after Storm Christoph hit Wales.
Up to 30 people in Bangor-on-Dee, Wrexham, which is subject to a severe flood warning, were evacuated from their homes, the council leader said.
Mark Pritchard said teams worked to ensure the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine, made on Wrexham Industrial Estate, was not lost.
Villagers sheltered for a short time in a church hall, Wrexham council said.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said the River Dee, which runs through Bangor-on-Dee, was at its highest recorded level since the water gauge became operational in 1996 - 16.45m (54 ft).
image captionPeople were seen wading through flood water with their belongings in Ruthin
image captionNorth East Wales Search and Rescue helped people whose homes were flooded in New Broughton, Wrexham
Vaccine secured from floodwater
Mr Pritchard told BBC Radio Wales: “We had an incident at Wrexham Industrial Estate, the Oxford vaccination is produced there and the warehouse where it is stored, obviously I can’t tell you where it is, but we had to work in partnership to make sure we didn’t lose the vaccinations in the floods.
“I’ve been up all night… it’s a very difficult time for us.”
image captionRoads have been flooded around Bangor-on-Dee
Wockhardt UK, which manufactures the vaccine, said at about 16:00 GMT on Wednesday it experienced mild flooding and excess water surrounded part of its buildings.
It said: “All necessary precautions were taken, meaning no disruption to manufacturing or inlet of water into buildings.
“The site is now secure and free from any further flood damage and operating as normal.”
Nine properties in nearby Berse Road in New Broughton were also evacuated.
Severe flood risk: Emergency services are asking residents of Bangor on Dee to evacuate properties and proceed to Ysgol Sant Dunawd immediately.
DO NOT try to leave the area yourself. 4×4 vehicles will be utilised by emergency services to evacuate residents from the school. pic.twitter.com/1DBTGm1JIZ
— North Wales Police #KeepWalesSafe 🌈 (@NWPolice) January 21, 2021
A multi-agency statement described the situation in Bangor-on-Dee as a “major incident”.
It said: “As a severe weather warning indicates that there is a risk to life, it was deemed necessary to evacuate residents of Bangor-on-Dee, in order to ensure the ongoing safety of the community.
“The evacuation effort continues, with all routes in and out of the village currently closed to the public due to the flooding.”
image captionA severe flood warning has been issued for Bangor-on-Dee
Earlier, some residents in Ruthin were told to leave their homes - people have been told Covid rules allow them leave their homes in an emergency.
‘Sheer volume of water’
image captionDave Brown’s mother-in-law was rescued from their home in Broughton, Flintshire
Dave Brown said the flooding in his home in Broughton, Flintshire, was horrific and his mother-in-law, who is in her late 70s, was rescued by firefighters.
“You don’t realise the damage water does and everything that floats - the sheer volume of water.
“I am 6ft tall and it almost took me out.”
image captionIn Denbighshire, a bridge linking Trefnant to Tremeirchion over the River Clwyd has washed away
Wrexham council said some of the people forced to leave their homes were now sheltering with relatives while others were found accommodation by the local authority.
It said lots of roads had been affected by flooding, but the peak seemed to have passed in some areas.
The situation in Ruthin, Denbighshire, overnight was “horrendous”, town councillor Stephen Beach said.
“The whole of Ruthin was on edge,” he said.
“Some people were accommodated at the leisure centre, and others were offered places to stay by local residents. The community was superb.
“It was the sheer volume of water that came down - there was no stopping it.”
Weather and flood warnings
A yellow weather warning for ice has been issued by the Met Office for parts of mid and north Wales and is in effect until 10:00 GMT.
It said ice was forming following clearance of rain and snow, leading to difficult travel conditions.
It covers Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Powys and Wrexham.
NRW said as well as the severe flood warning, there were more than 30 flood warnings and more than 50 flood alerts across the country.
image captionPeople were forced to leave their homes in Broughton, Flintshire
Rescues under way
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it was trying to reach a driver stranded in flood water using rescue sleds.
In Llanharan, Rhondda Cynon Taf, fire crews are searching for a car that has gone down an embankment off the A473.
In Carmarthen, people were treated for the effects of fumes after using a generator to pump water from their homes.
image captionThe scene in Carmarthen overnight
In Knighton and Crickhowell in Powys, crews spent the night pumping out a number of properties.
In Borth, Ceredigion, floodwater hit the water treatment plant, an electrical substation and eight properties.
Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team had to rescue a man from the roof of his car.
It said he had tried to drive through the river ford along the road from Llandygai to Bangor, in Gwynedd, but had become stuck in deep water and had climbed onto the roof. He was not injured.
The heavy, prolonged rain has cleared from #Wales but still a lot of water to come down off the hills & mountains into the rivers. A colder, brighter day ahead with scattered showers. Hail in places. Snow on higher ground. The wind easing afternoon. Frost and icy patches tonight! pic.twitter.com/y26fvDrGWA
— Derek Brockway - weatherman (@DerekTheWeather) January 21, 2021
Rhondda Cynon Taf council said it was aware of a minor landslip on the mountainside above Pentre.
It said it had done an initial inspection determined that there was no immediate threat to the area.
Further detailed inspection will be carried out on Friday, it said, and asked people to avoid the area.
image captionBangor-on-Dee has been badly hit by Storm Cristoph
Stay away warning
Chris Lloyd from North Wales Mountain Rescue Association warned people to not visit flood-hit areas to view the damage.
He told BBC Radio Wales: “People who are going out to look at the floods are not only putting themselves at risk, but putting additional people on the roads which professional emergency services don’t want - we don’t want any more incidents.”
Dozens of roads have been closed across Wales, including:
- The A487 between Cardigan in Ceredigion and Newport in Pembrokeshire
- The A55 North Wales Expressway westbound at junction 33A
- The A487 between Machynlleth and Dyfi Furnace in Powys
- The A4042 from B4269 to A40 Monmouth Road in Monmouthshire
- The A499 between Pwllheli and Llanbedrog in Gwynedd
Dyfed-Powys Police said Powys was experiencing widespread flooding and had severely affected areas between Welshpool and Newtown.
It urged people to only travel if essential and pay attention to road closure signs.48
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