Justice for Flood Victims

On the night of February 15th 2020 large areas of RCT were hit by Storm Dennis.

 

Storm Dennis was a European windstorm which, in February 2020, became one of the most intense extratropical cyclones ever recorded, reaching a minimum central pressure of 920 millibars (27.17 inches of mercury) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_Dennis]

Storm Dennis

 

Across RCT over 1,000 properties were flooded.  In the Pontypridd Constituency, residents of Pontypridd, Trefforest and Taffs Well suffered extreme flooding.

Berw Road

The damage was extensive to houses, businesses and transport infrastructure.

Car by River

The Authorities were overwhelmed by the extent of the flooding and concentrated on calls where life was at risk.

fire engine


Heledd Fychan, Plaid's councillor for Pontypridd Town was on the scene from early in the morning and helping residents get to safety.

The impact of the storm was widely reported on television, radio, online and in newspapers.  With many featuring videos of the people affected 

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/storm-dennis-rct-repair-funds-17767305


Cllr Heledd Fychan joined with many other volunteers from all over the area in volunteering in a local Community Centre, providing food and distributing clothing and other items donated by people across RCT, Wales and beyond.

Trallwn Community Centre


Even as the World was hit by Covid19 and Wales went into lockdown many residents were still requiring help with housing and dealing with insurance claims.

It also became apparent that the cost to the Local Authority was going to be in the hundreds of millions of pounds.

 

But questions were also being asked as to why the flooding was so extensive. Here are just a few of those questions.

Did the cutting of the trees in the forestry contribute?

Were the culverts properly maintained?

Has there been too much building on flood plains? 

Why did some pumps not appear to work? 

Rumours abounded that the reservoirs above Merthyr had had to release water as they were close to being breached. 

Why were the authorities seemingly so under-prepared and slow to respond. 

To this day those questions have not been answered.


Plaid Cymru has been to the fore in pressing for answers to these questions and more.  They have called for an Independent Inquiry.


Cllr Fychan started a petition which received over 5,000 signatures, this petition means that the Welsh Parliament will debate the issue in December 2020.

bbc senedd debate

Cllr Fychan also submitted a motion to a Full Council meeting of RCT Council.  On the 25th of November, RCT Council voted against holding an Independent Inquiry, which would have examined the responses of all authorities, including RCT. 

You can read the motion and the way in which it was amended by Labour Councillors here

At the time of writing a video of this meeting is not available on the Council website.  When it is you can watch to see if your councillor voted for or against an Independent Inquiry.


On Monday 7th December Plaid Cymru published their report into the flooding calling for an Independent Inquiry.

You can read the report here.

report


UPDATE January 2021 UPDATE

Facebook Post from Heledd Fychan
Many people have contacted me, worried about the risk of flooding. River is high and fast flowing in Pontypridd this morning and obviously concerning as it is still raining. But, for residents, please keep an eye on this for latest updates and be reassured that it is nowhere near as high as last February at present and no red river warning: https://rivers-and-seas.naturalresources.wales/.../4061...
My heart goes out to communities across Wales that have experienced flooding again. It’s a disgrace that the Welsh Government has refused an independent inquiry, as has our local MP and MS, as we need to learn lessons from previous floods to understand the risk of floods in the future to ensure we invest in flood prevention measures. I will keep campaigning for justice for those affected, and I’m glad that Plaid Cymru has committed to an inquiry if we are leading the next Welsh Government.

Take Action Today

If you, like us wish to see answers to the questions raised:

  1. please lobby your Member of the Senedd - you can find their details here. 
  2. Email, Tweet send a letter to your Member of the Senedd urging them to support an Independent Inquiry.
  3. Sign our petition here.

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