North Wales MS Mark Isherwood is calling for help for desperate Flintshire residents whose homes were ruined in last month’s floods during Storm Christoph, after visiting them last week.
On Friday, Mr Isherwood had a Covid safe outside meeting with the residents affected to gain an insight into what caused the flooding, and to discuss both the help they need now and the action required to prevent this happening again.
They told him that on Wednesday 20th January, during Storm Christoph, water coming from a ditch on Main Road, Broughton, flooded three houses opposite, plus three further houses behind them, and went on to affect other homes behind these.
They also told him that they had received no support since.
Speaking after the meeting, he said:
“Although some of these homes are ruined, a number of the residents are still having to live in them and they are calling for help from Flintshire County Council.
“I was concerned to be told that on the day of the floods, Flintshire County Council were informed at 2pm that the gully was flooding, but they did nothing and the residents had not heard from the Council since.
“Residents who have lived there for over three decades had never previously seen flooding like this in the area. They told me that the ditch opposite was overgrown and full of leaves, that the outlet at the far end is still blocked with leaves and debris, that the drains down the road’s main drag simply couldn’t cope and that the flooding reached the houses opposite despite the road’s downward contour.
“Sadly some of the residents told me they were not insured and have been left in a terrible state, with no advice as to what support is available to them. Meanwhile, those who were insured are concerned how this incident will affect their premiums going forward.
“I am told Natural Resources Wales (NRW) knew there was ‘some risk’, but the residents are left without the answers and assurances that they desperately need.
“NRW is responsible when flooding is caused by a watercourse such as a river, and Councils are responsible when flooding is on a road, caused by a blockage in a roadside drain, or caused by an ordinary watercourse such as a ditch, surface water or groundwater.”
Mr Isherwood, who in the Welsh Parliament last week highlighted the devastating impact of last month’s floods on homes in Flintshire and called for fast action to identify the causes and enable appropriate measures to be implemented to avert any further incidents, added:
“The Environment Minister told me then that ‘It’s up to the Local Authority to come forward with what they think is required’.
“These people are really suffering, it is causing mental anxiety, as well as posing a risk to their physical health.
“Their homes are ruined and they should not be having to live in them. It has been several weeks now and it is worrying that those unable to move out told me that they have still not been offered any temporary accommodation.
“Flooding has a devastating impact on individuals and communities and it is vital that help and support is provided to them quickly after the event.
“There needs to be a preventative action plan to stop this happening again.
“These residents in Broughton have been severely let down and I will now be pursuing this on their behalf with both Flintshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales.”