Over 150 rescued from Wales floods

Sat, Jun 9, 2012, 01:00

Over 150 people had to be rescued from homes and caravans today after serious floods hit west Wales.

Holidaymakers and residents were helped to safety in a large-scale rescue operation mounted by fire crews, coastguard lifeboats and military helicopters when water swept through caravan parks and villages near Aberystwyth.

An inshore lifeboat team taking part in the rescue operation had to be airlifted when they got into difficulties after helping to pluck a disabled man from a flooded caravan because a Royal Air Force (RAF) helicopter was 20 minutes flying time away.

Four holiday camps along the River Lery were completely evacuated when the swollen waters breached its banks, and 150 people were sheltering in rest centres having been rescued, police said.

Dozens of people took refuge in a community centre in Talybont when flood water surged through the village and three people were winched away from the Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre by RAF Sea King helicopters.

Dyfed-Powys Police said three people needed treatment for minor injuries.

The alarm was raised in the early hours after more than 80mm of rain fell in 24 hours. Environment Agency Wales has five flood warnings in place.

Fire service rescue boats and vehicles joined inshore lifeboats to help stranded people escape from the Riverside Caravan Park. A Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said emergency services were called at about 3am and there was “a large amount of water and a heavy current running through the caravan park”.

Nearby Mill House Caravan Park at Dol-y-Bont was also flooded, and about a dozen people were rescued.

PA