Storm Dennis crossed Wales last weekend leaving hundreds of houses completely destroyed by the flood.
In 48 hours a month of rain fell, people were evacuated from their homes and cities and roads across the country were in ruins, but for some the destruction was not a surprise.
While police have declared the flood a serious accident and severe weather alarms have been put in place, some people living in the Welsh valleys have experienced the wrath of flood waters for decades.
The situation is so serious in some areas that an Aberdulais road has been flooded about 30 times in four years.
Prime Minister Drakeford said the Welsh government will spend £ 350 million on flood defense in the Assembly’s next term, but residents in some of the worst affected areas of Wales say that local authorities have not done enough to do this. point.
Llanhilleth, Blaenau Gwent
Kathleen Donoghue, 62, has lived on Meadow Street in Llanhilleth since 1985 and said she had never seen this type of flood in her 35 years on the Blaenau Gwent estate.
He said, “I woke up around 2 in the morning because I felt the confusion and the water flowing through the back door, so when I looked out from the front it was like a river flowing in the middle of the road. It was very scary and when I saw that it was deepening I knew we had to leave.
“I crossed the water and went to my cousin’s house who lives nearby, but the full effects didn’t hit me until I returned the next day.
“When I saw the disaster in the house I cried out because I lost everything from my downstairs. From my accessories and furniture, to the kitchen and the refrigerator, it’s all over and I’ll have to start over.
“I am currently staying at my cousin’s house while the rooms dry out, but I am very disappointed by the lack of help that has been offered to us. We may not live in Pentre where most of the damage has been done, but we just overlooked it down here and not it’s right.
“Nobody really comes to control us or offer us a hand with anything, so we feel we are alone.”
Gavin Broome, 41, moved from Newport to Llanhilleth last October, where he rents a property on Meadow Street. He says he has now been left in a state of limbo after several feet of water rushed through his house, and he waits to get the most out of it to return to his landlord.
He said: “It was a bit of a nightmare to be honest as the property has no electricity until the surveyors tell us it is safe to turn it back on. Structurally the house seems to be okay but they don’t want to take any risks.
“Like many others I have lost a lot of furniture and appliances from the water, but also things like photo albums that have a lot of sentimental value. I can’t get them back and this makes me very sad.
“I went home with my mom to Newport now until everything is fixed, even if no one seems to know how long it will be.
“We received support from the people at the local institution who provide us with cleaning products and a place to have a warm environment, but other than that there wasn’t much help.
“Llanhileth is a lovely place to live, so I hope I can turn the power back on and return to normal as soon as possible.”
Tricia James, has lived on North Road, Newbridge for over 30 years. At that time, he had to move on one occasion because of the floods and says he “worries” every time it rains.
The 58-year-old who lives on the property with her husband Gary and their dog, said she was warned not to buy the property in 1989 due to floods.
“I remember when we bought it my father said ‘You don’t want to buy that house that floods’ but we did and in that first year he was right, he flooded,” he said.
“I have lived here since 1989, and in 30 odd years we have always been floods here. Every time it rains heavily we are worried.”
Tricia said they stayed in the property for as long as possible hoping that someone would come in or pump the water, but as the water continued to deepen the couple decided to leave.
“The water was about three feet deep when we left, we had to wade through it.
“We waited until midday on Sunday thinking that someone would come to help us or pump some water but nobody came.
Now, Tricia has said she has had enough and thinks that houses should be demolished because of the problem.
“I think people need to wake up to the problem here. These houses need to be torn down every time we are told that something will be done, but it never is,” said Tricia.
For years and years he has gone around as regards who takes responsibility.
The last time residents had severe flooding on the street, causing people to die about 10 years ago. During those floods, Tricia moved from her home for over a year.
“The last time it was flooded so much that we had to leave about 10 years ago, but even then it was not so bad.
“The last time we had to move for nearly a year. This is the worst since I live here.”
Tricia said seven properties on North Road were affected by the floods over the weekend.
“Everyone had several feet of water. Everything on our ground floor is damaged, we also have a bedroom on the ground floor, so everything is affected.
“Both of our cars have been canceled, it was a nightmare to be honest.”
Troedyrhiw, Merthyr Tydfil
Kai Long lived on his property in Tydfil Terrace, Troedyrhiw for 12 years.
The flood was devastating for his family, not only did the entire lower floor need to be replaced, but their dog died during the floods.
Kai was away on Saturday night and says he can’t believe the scene he faced on Sunday. He says the whole street has been hit by the flood.
“I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing, I just thought ‘where do we start’,” he said.
“Then, when mom said about the dog, I couldn’t believe what was going on.”
The 38 year old lived alone on the property and has always lived in the village.
As with most affected areas across Wales, floods have sparked a sense of community among residents. Kai says that neighbors have been invaluable to those who suffer.
“It was more neighbors who came together rather than the council, everyone came together.
“Everyone got together. Our whole street is full of garbage and furniture that everyone gathered together outside. Everyone was very helpful.
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Despite being near a river, the last time the road had severe flooding like the weekend was about 40 years ago.
“I don’t think it was the river that caused the flood either, the river doesn’t seem to be flooded at all.
“The drains are constantly blocked, so I think it’s more likely to come from that.”
Kai said the entire ground floor of his home will need to be replaced.
“It was the entire ground floor, from the bathroom to the whole house – it will need some gut work,” said Kai.
“There were a few meters of water.
“More than anything, even if our dog is dead, we are devastated. Some things you can replace but it is simply irreplaceable.”
The Merthyr Council released a statement on the recent flood: “In Merthyr Tydfil, the impact of Storm Dennis began to be seen on Saturday night with landslides appearing in various locations in the county district.
“In the early hours of Sunday morning it became evident that due to the floods, various properties had to be evacuated and we worked with the emergency services to protect the public and our two rest centers were activated.
“Our frontline crews continued to handle the emergency Sunday through Monday, with our flood response coordinated by our emergency control room.
“An important reclamation operation is currently underway. Twelve vehicles have been deployed in the most affected areas to clean up bulky items and flood damaged goods. These collections will continue when and when necessary.
“A team of 50 staff members have been deployed within the community and knocked on doors in areas we know have been flooded in order to assess what help is needed and identify vulnerable people. We have also created dedicated web pages for flood victims to ask for advice, directions and let us know what help they need from us.
“We are also working with partner organizations such as Merthyr Valleys Homes and Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association, community groups and volunteers, as part of this recovery operation.
“We will continue to do everything we can to support our residents. We are currently working with the Welsh government to examine the distribution of an emergency fund for flood victims, further information on which will be made available soon.”
The head of the Caerphilly Council, Cllr Philippa Marsden, said: “Our dedicated crews have fought with the elements doing everything possible to protect the residents.
“They worked in extremely difficult conditions to respond to an unprecedented number of requests for assistance from the public.
“I would like to thank everyone involved, including frontline staff, healthcare professionals and those who deal with the huge volumes of behind-the-scenes calls. I would also like to thank our residents for their support and sense of spirit. community that was on display during the break.
“We are now clarifying, assessing the damage and ensuring that all affected people are able to get the support they need in this difficult time.”