Flood review says Welsh defences 'performed well'


Matt Jones

A REVIEW into flooding which saw 130 Rhyl homes submerged has concluded coastal defences performed well.

The Welsh Government's Natural Resources minister Alun Davies said more than 99 per cent of coastal properties at risk of flooding were protected.

The highest tidal surge for more than 20 years battered Rhyl, Prestatyn and Kinmel Bay on December 5 causing scores of residents of East Rhyl to leave their homes.

The Natural Resources Wales flood review said that while storms and coastal conditions reached levels and a ferocity not seen for many years, less than one per cent of at risk properties and agricultural land flooded.

It said Welsh flood defences protected coastal homes and businesses reducing the cost of the emergency service response and the repair bill.

Mr Davies, who last week announced an additional £1m of grant funding to help restore the coastal protection damaged during the storms, said: "The weather conditions have been some of the worst on record.

"The damage and disruption to the coast has been significant and my sympathies are very much with those families, businesses and communities affected.

"This report shows that without our continued investment in flood and coastal defences, the picture could have been far worse.

"With yet more severe weather forecast for Wales, we know we can never be complacent about the potential impact of flooding on our communities.

"That is why we have significantly increased our investment in flood and coastal protection over the current Assembly term and why we will continue to do everything we can to protect people, homes and communities from the impact of the severe weather conditions."

In January £2m for emergency flood repairs was announced which allowed Natural Resources Wales and local authorities to proceed with repairs.

Mr Davies added: "In addition to the £4.6m package of support for this financial year, we are also considering funding options to address the remaining costs for coastal repairs identified in the review, over and above those flood schemes already planned for 2014/15.”

He also thanked Natural Resources Wales and local authorities for their hard work on the review and their continued efforts to protect Wales from the ongoing storms.

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