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Council spends £20M on storm repairs following Storm Dennis

Improving resilience to flooding continues to be a priority for Rhondda Cynon Council, with more than £14M spent on infrastructure upgrades and £20M on storm repairs in recent years, since Storm Dennis in 2020.

Climate change is resulting in more frequent storm events than ever before and for this year alone (2022/23), more than £6.4M Welsh Government funding is secured for Storm Dennis works, plus around £3.9M for flood alleviation works.

The Council has also secured more than £8m from the Resilient Roads Grant over the past three years for targeted flooding resilience road schemes in the Cynon Valley and Rhondda areas, with £400,000 secured for 10 new schemes this year (2022/23).

All the above flood alleviation works already carried out played a major role during the recent adverse weather conditions and the Met Office Yellow Weather Warning (Thursday, January 12).

The Council currently has an accelerated list of more than 100 flood alleviation schemes, of which more than half are complete.

The Met Office Yellow Weather Warning (Thursday, January 12) brought significant and sustained rainfall to Rhondda Cynon Taf, which resulted in a number of flooding events. However, a range of data collected by the Council including rainfall volumes, river levels and the impact caused suggest that the weather event was more severe than predicted.

Greatest rainfall reached over 100mm in some parts of Rhondda Cynon Taf, around a months’ worth of rain in less than 24 hours. Such large volumes of rainfall can have a significant impact.

Among the roads temporarily closed due to flooding/surface water was the A4058 Pontypridd/Hopkinstown; Bridge Street/A470 interchange, Pontypridd; and Waunrhydd Road, Tonyrefail. Public transport was also disrupted for a time.

Around 50 residential properties/business premises were also affected and some of those residents temporarily left their homes in the interest of public safety.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “While it appears all the culverts upgraded by the Council since Storm Dennis in 2020 held overnight, we have said there are many more to do and several more years work planned.

“There has unfortunately been flooding in several places across our County Borough following a period of wet and inclement weather, but Council staff have worked tirelessly in adverse conditions in order to keep everyone safe.

“Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of weather events, and with financial support from Welsh Government, we are seeking to do all we can to reduce the impact of severe rainfall.

“The Council currently has an accelerated list of more than 100 flood alleviation schemes, of which more than half are complete.”