Storm Ciara victim 'couldn't open front door' because of pressure from raging flood waters

Original by Jez Hemming, North Wales Live -

Craig Daniels said he had to force his way out of the property in Llanrwst


A man whose house was deluged by floods said he couldn't open his front door because of the water pressure.

Craig Daniels from Llanrwst told North Wales Live he had to force his way out of the house as up to 4.5ft fof water entered his home during devastating floods caused by Storm Ciara.

High tides, torrential rain and storm-force winds conspired to deluge the Conwy valley town, which seems to be perennially hit by floods.

Residents had to be evacuated from some homes in the area. Nearby Trefriw and other parts of the Conwy Valley were hit by the torrent of water.

He said he couldn't even enter the kitchen of his property as appliances floated and blocked his way.

He blames Conwy council and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) for not planning appropriately when there had been warning about the storm well in advance of the floods.

Mr Daniels, who has lived at his home on Station Road for 15 years, said he believed the problems in the town had stemmed from the culvert designed to direct flood water away from the town.

He told North Wales Live: "This morning I've come down to two or three foot of water and within an hour it was four-and-a-half foot deep. I literally couldn't get through to the back room.

"I couldn't open the front door because of the pressure. As soon as the machine started cleaning the culvert out this morning the level dropped.

"We were obviously warned about the weather but the problem is the culvert. What we are angry about is, whether it's NRW or the council, they knew this weather was coming. The little stream behind was well below the level. That culvert has caused the problem.

"We are going to put together a petition against the council."

Manon Williams, who lives nearby said: "The flood defences weren't up either. Thousands of pounds have gone into the flood defences. My car is knackered. My kitchen is flooded. It's a complete disaster."

NRW say they do not have responsibility for the culvert.

One person told North Wales Live there were "a lot of men in high vis jackets" near the culvert after the floods hit the town.

Speaking to official sources it is unclear at the moment whether the flooding came from the River Conwy or from the area of the culvert.

Conwy leader Cllr Sam Rowlands vowed to look into what happened regarding the culvert.

He said: "Our thoughts are all with residents and the practical problems of warmth and shelter and family possessions.

"Emergency provisions and staff are in place for anyone needing help. Our teams started work on Friday and have been out all day today. We hope the storm has peaked now but our teams will be out again tonight as we expect freezing conditions."

Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders said she would be tabling an emergency question about the floods and how defences are funded in the Senedd tomorrow. She called for an independent inquiry into the area's flood defences.

Aberconwy MP Robin Millar said he would be meeting with NRW to discuss the "recurring problem" of the floods and their management of the waterways.