Burst river in Wales forces 500 people to evacuate their homes as flooding brings chaos to Britain

Evacuations come with more than 500 flood warnings in place across the country, with a total of 1,400 homes already reported as flooded

John Hall
Tuesday 27 November 2012 12:20

500 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in the Welsh city of St Asaph after the River Elwy burst its banks.

Residents have been asked to stay with friends or family until the risk subsides, with a ‘rest centre’ being set up and run by Denbighshire County Council and the British Red Cross.

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “Over recent hours, concerns have been growing about the levels of the River Elwy at St Asaph.

“The river has now overtopped the flood defences in the north end of the city.

The evacuations come with more than 500 flood warnings in place across the country, with a total of 1,400 homes already reported as flooded.

Those travelling around the country also faced chaos with floods continuing to severely impact in roads and rail lines.

Many train services were disrupted, with the West Country again one of the worst-hit areas.

The North East of England also experienced rail problems, with buses having to replace trains on some routes.

Numerous roads were still impassable, with Worcestershire, County Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland among the most badly-affected areas.

To add to travellers' woes, a vehicle hitting a bridge led to delays to Greater Anglia train company passengers in Essex, while there were also delays to services in and out of London Bridge station.

The Environment Agency are warning home owners in North East England and North Wales to “remain vigilant” for flooding in the face of further heavy rainfall.

In the South East, there were 22 flood warnings and 53 flood alerts this morning, mainly concentrated in the west of the region, the Environment Agency said.

A spokeswoman said: “There are intermittent showers, which we are expecting to move away, but we are keeping a watching brief and monitoring the situation closely.”

Essex Fire and Rescue Service received more than 100 calls to flooding related incidents last night. A spokesman urged motorists to take care around flood water.

He added: “Rescuing motorists who have driven themselves into flood water ties up crews, which could be needed elsewhere, at incidents which are entirely avoidable.”

Residents in west Oxford were asked to be vigilant and prepare for possible flooding, Oxfordshire County Council said.

A spokesman said: “All property owners, particularly those who have property in the floodplain and close to watercourses, are urged to take action to protect property from flooding.”

The local authority said it is possible some householders will be advised to leave in the next 24 hours. Rest centres will be set up nearby to accommodate people who are evacuated.

At the Port of Dover in Kent, all cross-Channel ferry crossings with P&O Ferries, DFDS/DL Lines and MyFerryLink to Calais, and DFDS Seaways to Dunkirk were running on time.

A port spokesman said sea conditions in the Channel were “slight”, with a force 3 wind and good visibility.

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