A VILLAGE close to Machynlleth was evacuated this week after fears that the area might get flooded for a second time in just a few days.
North Wales Police evacuated residents from the village of Pennal on Sunday, following a breach in the dam of a quarry.
Nearly 600 people fled the village, heading to Machynlleth Leisure Centre and other temporary refuges, but were fortunately allowed back home after police said a controlled release of water from a disused quarry had eased pressure on the dam wall.
The evacuation came just as a clean-up operation had been carried out after flooding had already hit the village just one day earlier.
Sian Newman came home to find her family home engulfed in water.
“We had been at a friend’s house when we got a text to say that the house had been flooded. We came straight home but there was nothing we could do,” she said.
The fire brigade was on hand to help pump water out of the house, but the floor of the house had already become covered in mud and debris from the water.
“Everybody from the village helped us get the mud and silt out, and then we were told about the evacuation.”
The Riverside Hotel in Pennal was also hit by the floods and lost stock and supplies and had to rip up its carpets due to water damage.
Glyn Davies, owner of the Riverside, said: “We moved everything we could upstairs but the water just got higher and higher, it was pouring in.
“But at least no-one was hurt, it could have been much worse.”
Machynlleth Mayor Gareth Jones said: “Pennal residents were faced with an horrific situation on Sunday. They all faced evacuation and I, as Mayor of Machynlleth, put our full facilities such as the Plas House, refreshments and staff assistance, at their disposal. I am glad to say that these were not necessary, but it is so important that neighbouring communities rise up and support one another in times of crises.”
Emergency services had spent all of Friday and Saturday tackling floods around the Machynlleth and Aberystwyth areas. The nearby town of Talybont was also hit badly by the floods with residents from 25 properties needing rescuing.
Cheryl Gillan, Secretary of State for Wales, said: “This has been a very impressive operation in horrific weather conditions and with unprecedented flood levels.”
And the Welsh First Minister has thanked emergency services and all those involved in the rescue operation.
Elizabeth Finn Care, a grant-giving charity which helps people in financial hardship, is able to help people who are on low income or means tested benefits who have been severely affected by the weekend’s floods. If you need any information or advice then you can call the Turn2us helpline number on 08088 022000.