Heavy rains and flash flooding cause chaos in Cardiff

Many struggle to reach memorial service in Ely to mark the anniversary of the hit-and-run rampage one year ago which killed one and injured many others

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The Independent Online

Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and chaos throughout Cardiff this weekend, with downpours forecast to continue well into next week.

Roads had to be closed and shops shut as water poured in through the doors. Firefighters were called in to deal with incidents across the city, with at one point six engines deployed at the same time because of the weather.

The stormy conditions meant many were unable to reach the Church of the Resurrection in Ely for an anniversary service one year on from one man’s hit-and-run rampage through which killed one and left 17 others injured.

The priest there, Reverend Jan Gould, described the rain as “apocalyptic” and said it was a shame that more people could not share in the memorial.

“The weather was so horrendous and flooding all over the place in west Cardiff and police closed lots of the roads in Ely,” Ms Gould said.

“It's about the worst rain I have ever seen. It was just flash flooding and it was horrendous.”

Only a few dozen people were able to brave the conditions to gather for the service, which focussed on remembering Karina Menzies, 31, after she was killed by a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia as he sped through Cardiff in a heavy-duty white Iveco van.

Driver Matthew Tvrdon, 32, raced along the suburbs of Ely and Leckwith for eight miles, knocking people down as he went. Ms Menzies was hit outside Ely fire station in front of two of her children.

Tvrdon was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act back in June after admitting manslaughter with diminished responsibility.

The Church of the Resurrection, which became a focal point of community mourning in the aftermath of the tragedy, hosted a service to mark the first anniversary.

“People couldn't get to the church, so we only had about 40 people attend, which was a real shame because I'm sure it would have been packed,” Ms Gould said.

“Having said that, it was a lovely service and those that did come said they found it really helpful and brought them so peace.

“It was still quite moving. It's just a shame there weren't the numbers there that would have been, were it not for the weather.”

Those in Cardiff now hoping for a respite from the rain will be disappointed, with forecasters predicting more of the same. Nick Prebble from MeteoGroup said: “Unfortunately there will be no reprieve from the rain today with heavy showers continuing to fall over Cardiff.

“On top of the rain yesterday and overnight, it is likely there will be more flash flooding today and possibly over the next few days.”