Welsh Green Dragon

Cardiff Man hit by flooding calls on Council to do more by alexlodge

One in nine homes in Wales is at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea.

Whilst the Environment Agency announced plans to extend its flood warning system in Wales last week, we spoke to one man who is calling on Cardiff Council to do more to stop flooding in his area.

37-year old Anthony Cornick’s garden was damaged when Whitchurch Brook, which backs on to the house at Heol Waun Y Nant, broke its banks two weeks ago.

Flood water washed away land at the bottom of Mr Cornick’s garden, dislodging his fence and leaving a seven-foot drop.

Mr Cornick said: “I’m worried about my three children. They enjoy playing in the garden, in the Spring and Summer. But obviously, I don’t allow them to play in the garden at the moment, with the condition it’s in.

“What I want to see is some action. I want to see the land put back, and see someone take responsibility for the land that was there. But I don’t seem to be getting any response from the local authority.”

Flood defence projects

Cardiff Council has told Mr Cornick that he must repair the damages himself.

A Cardiff Council spokesman said: “Council officers are eager to re-open lines of communication with Mr Cornick in order to work towards a satisfactory conclusion to this issue.

“The council is attempting to find out exactly who is responsible for the piece of land in question, but while this is in progress, we must stress it is Mr Cornick’s responsibility to secure his own ground and fence.”

The council will spend will spend £451,000 on the brook as part of a European scheme supporting eight flood and coastal defence projects in the local area.

Flood Warnings

From March, the number of properties who automatically receive free flood warnings will increase from 47,000 to 90,000.

Eligible homes and businesses will be notified by post, a phone call to their landline or a text to a mobile phone.

Alan Proctor, Flood Risk Manager at Environment Agency Wales said: “Last November’s devastating events in Cockermouth remind us that the dangers of flooding and how being prepared is crucial.”

“We urge everyone to check whether their property is at risk and taking steps to prepare, such as looking at ways to make properties more resistant to floods.”

World Wetlands Day at Newport Wetlands Centre by tanyamercer

Today is World Wetlands Day.

Each year conservationists use the day as an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of unique wetland habitats across the world.

There are many internationally important habitats around the UK and all have a rich array of wildlife.

Conservationists believe that the preservation and creation of wetland ecosystems are important in helping to combat climate change. Reed beds absorb a massive amount of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere and help to increase biodiversity, something which has recently been heavily critised here in Wales.

They also play an important part in flood protection.

To find out more about wetlands in South Wales, Chris and I went to Newport Wetlands Nature Reserve.

For our the full interview with Gideon Harries of the RSPB, see below.

Environment Agency Wales foxtrots through floods by Chris Halpin
October 30, 2009, 7:05 pm
Filed under: Flooding

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Isolated communities in the Welsh Valleys are being targeted in a new campaign to warn those who are most vulnerable to the dangers of flooding. New ways have been thought up to get the message across to the elderly, parents with children under 5 and the socially deprived, who otherwise would not know what to do should a flood occur.

I attended the first of these events, and luckily I evaded having to show off my dance moves; the first event held was a Tea dance. Trehafod, just a few miles North of Pontypridd, has been hit hard by floods in recent years, so was the perfect place for the campaign to begin. Residents in the Rhondda valley are no strangers to what happens when the water level reaches breaking point, and the 30 people or so who took to the dance floor were all too vocal of their experiences.

One flood victim, Alison Dimond who is 61 and lives in Trehaford, had to live for 3 months in her upstairs bedroom after the storm drain overflowed outside her house in December 2007.  She lost all of her downstairs furniture and carpets and it was a full four months until things were back to normal. To her distress, there was not a lot of help at hand from the council when it happened, and she found insurance companies sometimes difficult to deal with.

As part of my journalism studies, I produced this link and clip on the event for broadcast on the radio.

Tito Lopez, who you’ve just heard, is a Flood Risk Officer for the Environment Agency. He reckons getting the message across is much easier when they work together with existing events which are already popular. This way they can ensure people are going to turn up; and the popularity of the Tea dance obviously proves this.

He said events like these are always a success even if only a few people sign up to the flood warning service that the Environment Agency provides. After a scramble for the free flood kit bags, clockwork torches and key rings, it seems that most people went home with a better idea of how to be prepared for high water levels as we head into the winter months.

That said, there were maybe a few scoundrels who had turned up to take advantage of the free tea and cakes!