A Powys family have been left counting the cost after being hit by torrents of water in a freak flash flood.

Rachel and James Powell’s family and the animals on their farm were left miraculously unscathed after several feet of fast-moving water crashed though their farm in less than two hours – in one of the worst flash flooding incidents in living memory.

The flood on Sunday (May 12) came after an idyllic spring afternoon.

“I had finished gardening and planting vegetables, outside was looking great," said Rachel.

“You could hear thunder and lightning coming about an hour or so later. My husband was away. We are a working family farm and the boys were feeding the lambs.

“Suddenly this hale arrived it must have been nearly golf ball sized. At this point we didn’t think it would be anything more.”

Within five minutes the weather had become a “torrent of rain”, and shortly afterwards it began to seep into the house.

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Rachel tried to block the water with towels and sheets, then closed and locked the doors as the force of the water kept pushing them open.

“I looked out the back, the water was splashing on to the windows,” said Rachel. “It’s all a bit of a blur, it was just a case of disbelief if I am honest.

"It was ankle deep water very quickly. I realised with the amount of water we wouldn’t be able to get out of the house.”


Rachel took their sons and dogs upstairs and called the fire brigade, before gathering a bag of essential items and calling her husband.

“Cast iron furniture was washed down the meadow, I had a raised bed made of railway sleepers that was three high, and there’s only remnants of the larger sleeper left," said Rachel.

“Trees have been uprooted. The water on the right side of the property was up to the roof, it was halfway up the shed.

“The force was unbelievable, patio slabs have been peeled up like carpet.”

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She continued: “The trauma is not feeling safe in your own home. It’s climate change, it’s very real and we can’t take it for granted that we are safe, this was just a very localised incident.”

James came home with a neighbour and managed to get a ladder to rescue his family from the house.

The family say they have been supported by family, friends and neighbours and are hoping to be back on their feet in a few months.

Rachel also praised the fire service for their work after they swiftly took down trees to divert the water and reduce the current, and Powys County Council for getting the roadways back in order in a matter of hours.

“We have had loads of messages of help and support,” added Rachel. “We’ve got a really good community network here, people are kind and generous and if they can help they absolutely will.”