‘No way for people to live’: Fresh call for independent inquiry as flooding hits the Rhondda again
The Rhondda’s Senedd Member has called for an independent inquiry after homes in the valleys were flooded once more.
Homes in Treorchy in the Rhondda Fawr have been flooded overnight, MS Leanne Wood said.
It comes after more than a thousand businesses and homes were affected when the Rhondda Cynon Taf county was hit by flooding following storms Ciara and Dennis in February.
A petition calling for a public inquiry had already been signed by nearly 6,000 people by the end of August.
“It is devastating for those affected by yet another flooding event in the Rhondda this year,” Leanne Woood said.
“The homes on High Street in Treorci have been flooded previously and some had only just finished repair and renovation work. Homes elsewhere have been hit too.
“People have been telling me that they were up at 4am this morning trying to keep the water out of the house. This is no way for people to live; with the constant threat of flooding whenever there is sustained rain.
“I have contacted Dŵr Cymru this morning to ask if the cause was related to a power cut and a pump failure – they have promised me answers as soon as possible.”
Leanne Wood added that the Rhondda had “suddenly become flood prone”.
“Despite promises from the council and other authorities about getting to the bottom of the problems, it keeps happening,” she said.
“This is why Plaid Cymru are pushing for an independent flood inquiry. There has to be an impartial eye to consider what has happened, why it keeps happening and to find solutions that will reduces the risks of flooding happening – not just now but also for the years to come when we are likely to see more extreme weather due to the climate crisis.”
The petition, submitted by Rhondda Plaid Cymru councillor Heledd Fychan, reads: “People and businesses across Rhondda Cynon Taf need an inquiry into the flooding that has hit so many of our communities this year, with some affected three times since February.”
In a letter to the chairwoman of the petitions committee Janet Finch-Saunders, Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths suggested an inquiry would not be forthcoming.
“I understand and share your wish to see the risk of future flooding reduced as quickly as possible,” Lesley Griffiths said.
“I do not agree however an independent inquiry is required at this stage.”
In August, council leader Andrew Morgan said work to ensure Wales avoided significant flooding in the future could “easily” cost more than £500m and was needed in the next decade.