Homes in Wales hit by recent flooding will receive between £500 and £1000 in support following “devastating” scenes of damage across the country.
More than 150 properties across Wales were flooded earlier this week after the arrival of Storm Christoph – with some areas seeing more than 200mm of rain in 72 hours; more than an average months’ worth of rain in most parts of Wales
More than 40 separate flood warnings and flood alerts were issued by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), including two severe flood warnings, with homes evacuated following severe incidents in Bangor on Dee and Rossett, Wrexham, and Skewen in Neath Port Talbot.
In Skewen about 80 people were evacuated, as the Coal Authority said water may have built up in a mine shaft and flooded the village.
People continue to be advised to only travel if absolutely necessary, and to avoid travelling to flood-hit areas.
As well as the impact on homes and properties, local authorities have also reported impacts to highway networks, resulting in significant traffic disruption.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Major flooding incidents can be devastating for the communities affected and the devastating scenes we have seen across Wales merit a strong and quick response for those householders affected.
“This is all the more harrowing when we consider those who have had to temporarily leave their homes, or who have seen their homes and belongings damaged by floodwater, have done so during the difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will support people who have suffered flooding in their homes with support payments of £500 and £1,000, similar to the support provided to households during storms Ciara and Dennis last year.”
The support payments will be made by local authorities, paid for by Welsh Government.
This is the same level of support provided to households following flooding caused by storms Dennis and Ciara last year.
The support payments will also be available to households which have suffered significant internal flooding while coronavirus restrictions have been in place through the autumn.
Further details on how affected households can apply for funding will be available shortly, the Welsh Government said.
Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, thanked local authorities, agencies, volunteers and emergency services which responded to Storm Christoph over the last few days.
She said: “We know major flooding incidents such as these can be devastating for communities, and I offer my sympathy and support to all those communities hit by flooding – especially where residents had to leave their homes due to flooding overnight.
“The collaborative efforts of organisations and services across the country, many of whom worked overnight to ensure members of the public were safe, have truly been remarkable.”
The Minister also urged the public not to put extra pressure on emergency services and agencies during the response to flooding caused by Storm Christoph.
“I urge members of the public to please heed the advice being issued by the emergency services, and to not travel unless absolutely necessary, to avoid putting extra pressure on our response agencies,” she said
“The sad reality is as we face the ongoing threat posed by drastic climate change, major flood and damaging weather events such as these are going to be more likely, not less.
“The Welsh Government will continue to pro-actively manage and respond to flood risk across Wales – in the autumn, we launched our new National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management, which outlined how we intend to work alongside partners to manage long-term flood risks across the country.
“We will work with risk management authorities to ensure defences across Wales remain robust.”