Cwmbran flood victims want answers

Cwmbran flood victims want answers

DAMAGE: Ruth Powell's with some ruined property

AFTERMATH: A full skip sits outside Sian Price's property on Two Locks Road, Cwmbran

DAMAGED GOODS: Ruth Powell's home took a battering from the flooding

First published in News
Last updated

A WEEK after the flash floods which hit Gwent last week, residents in Cwmbran are left asking why such damage was caused.

Ruth and Mostyn Powell, who have lived on Two Locks Road for 60 years, saw their kitchen, conservatory, sheds and garage flooded last week.

New cabinets were ruined, still covered with a layer of mud and silt, the washing machine and television were broken and laminate flooring will have to be pulled up.

Mrs Powell, 81, said: “It’s a nightmare. It was just like a river. I had to run upstairs and grab all the sheets and towels and try and pile my furniture up on to the table.

All the sewage was running down. The smell was disgusting. It was horrendous.”

The pair have spent the last week cleaning, frustrated by what they say has been a lack of support.

Mrs Powell said: “We have had to do it all ourselves. We’ve had no help. We’re in our eighties and it has taken six days for the insurance company to come out.”

Sian Price, of Two Locks Road, has been forced to move her three children to her mother’s house, as she and her partner attempt to salvage the ground floor of their house.

Ms Price said: “It wasn’t just water – it was the muck. It’ll be months before we get it back to how it was.”

A skip sitting in their driveway is full of furniture, flooring and sofas – all ruined. Ms Price has no insurance, but she said she is trying to keep optimistic. She said: “I’ve got to, otherwise I’ll break down.”

St Joseph’s Meadow estate in Llantarnam was particularly badly hit as water reached almost hip-level on Thursday. The Argus reported on a number of homes which had been flooded, forcing families to move out.

Mike Villars and Chris Bodman, of Poplar Place, weren’t flooded but are all too aware of how lucky they were and are concerned as to who is responsible.

They discovered large industrial containers, trees and other debris in Cwmbran Brook, behind their estate.

Mr Bodman said: “We really need Cwmbran Brook to be sorted. Who is going to take responsibility for that brook? We are sitting ducks.”

Problems with “boggy” gardens are a common occurrence on the estate and Mr Villars said: “For the last three years we’ve had problems with the drains down here.”

Now residents are concerned the problem will worsen with the Abbey Park development of 48 more homes on the site adjacent to their estate.

Last week, Steve Williams, managing director of Barratt South Wales said: “We sympathise with residents affected by the freak weather conditions and the floods which originated away from our site.”

The Argus contacted Torfaen council for a comment but no response.

Comments (6)

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9:47am Thu 29 May 14

-trigg- says...

This flooding happened because housing estates are being built on flood plains, without adequate provision for drainage.

Quite simply, if you don't want a house to flood don't build it on land that is prone to flooding - and certainly not without taking steps to improve drainage and divert excess water flows.
This flooding happened because housing estates are being built on flood plains, without adequate provision for drainage. Quite simply, if you don't want a house to flood don't build it on land that is prone to flooding - and certainly not without taking steps to improve drainage and divert excess water flows. -trigg-
  • Score: 11

10:39am Thu 29 May 14

DDDog1 says...

I don't agree,the flash flood was because we had rain of biblical proportions for such a long period the likes we have never seen or likely to see again,no drainage system would cope with that amount of water for such a long period.also I don't believe the amount of time the insurance company took to visit a property is down to the council,if it was me I would be sat in their office and would refuse to move until they did.
I don't agree,the flash flood was because we had rain of biblical proportions for such a long period the likes we have never seen or likely to see again,no drainage system would cope with that amount of water for such a long period.also I don't believe the amount of time the insurance company took to visit a property is down to the council,if it was me I would be sat in their office and would refuse to move until they did. DDDog1
  • Score: -1

12:29pm Thu 29 May 14

squirrelchez says...

"Ms Price has no insurance" = lesson learnt. Harsh, but true. In this day and age, you can't afford not to have at least contents insurance.

"A WEEK after the flash floods which hit Gwent last week, residents in Cwmbran are left asking why such damage was caused" - the answer is here - flash floods. Cwmbran, historically, isn't particularly well known for flooding problems, but as weather worsens, it's inevitably that we're going to have more flooding. I'm quite surprised that Burtons Place and nearby streets haven't flooded (unless I've missed that they have) as when it was the playing fields, they were always flooding.

Unfortunately, we seem to be in a particularly bad period at the moment, which only happens every so many hundred years. Also unfortunately, is the fact that everyone wants someone to blame. Blame Mother Nature, or if you must, blame whoever allowed houses to be built on flood plains - though I don't think this is the problem on Two Locks Road.
"Ms Price has no insurance" = lesson learnt. Harsh, but true. In this day and age, you can't afford not to have at least contents insurance. "A WEEK after the flash floods which hit Gwent last week, residents in Cwmbran are left asking why such damage was caused" - the answer is here - flash floods. Cwmbran, historically, isn't particularly well known for flooding problems, but as weather worsens, it's inevitably that we're going to have more flooding. I'm quite surprised that Burtons Place and nearby streets haven't flooded (unless I've missed that they have) as when it was the playing fields, they were always flooding. Unfortunately, we seem to be in a particularly bad period at the moment, which only happens every so many hundred years. Also unfortunately, is the fact that everyone wants someone to blame. Blame Mother Nature, or if you must, blame whoever allowed houses to be built on flood plains - though I don't think this is the problem on Two Locks Road. squirrelchez
  • Score: 10

5:09pm Thu 29 May 14

Robodad says...

Whilst i have every sympathy with people whose homes have been damaged by floods, It sounds like Ms Price made a decision not to pay for insurance and I hope she put aside the money she saved to pay for the damage. And, if Mr Bodman is "a sitting duck" he should be OK if his home does flood in the future!
Whilst i have every sympathy with people whose homes have been damaged by floods, It sounds like Ms Price made a decision not to pay for insurance and I hope she put aside the money she saved to pay for the damage. And, if Mr Bodman is "a sitting duck" he should be OK if his home does flood in the future! Robodad
  • Score: 1

5:55pm Thu 29 May 14

rmh1989 says...

The damage happened because they were FLASH FLOODS. As much as I can't stand the council we can't blame them for causing the flooding
The damage happened because they were FLASH FLOODS. As much as I can't stand the council we can't blame them for causing the flooding rmh1989
  • Score: 3

3:15pm Fri 30 May 14

Button123 says...

I must sympathise with all torfaen residents that have been affected by last weeks floods it's awful. I feel that residents that have no insurance must of made that difficult decision due to lack of funds not because they felt like it.

My first point is, yes it was a freak storm that nobody could of predicted. BUT TORFAEN CBC have not maintained any streams in the area for a very long time!! It's taken Torfaen less than a day after this happened to clean the stream by the Threepenny Bit. There are over 3tonne of rubbish. This rubbish has built up over time and due to the council not maintaining areas this lead to the streams bursting there banks and causing unnecessary damage.

It's the same old thing, Torfaen won't act until there is a major problem !!

This time though there negligence has left lots of Torfaen residents out of pocket AGAIN.

Point Two, The drainage systems have not been updated for a long time and was not built to cope with all the amount of houses that are in the area.

Although I appreciate that TCBC have a hard task due to budgets, maybe they should think of reducing all the fat cat wages (ones sat on there bum not being realistic) and give the good honest, hard working, hands on workers a pay rise. Because when we all needed there help it was these guys that we're helping the residents affected by the floods not the fat cats.

I would like to say to the TCBC workers that provided the elderly with sandbags in the Fairwater area a BIG THANK YOU. You certainly went above and belong you job roles making sure everyone was as safe as could be. Also a BIG THANK YOU to the Fire Brigade as there help was fantastic.
I must sympathise with all torfaen residents that have been affected by last weeks floods it's awful. I feel that residents that have no insurance must of made that difficult decision due to lack of funds not because they felt like it. My first point is, yes it was a freak storm that nobody could of predicted. BUT TORFAEN CBC have not maintained any streams in the area for a very long time!! It's taken Torfaen less than a day after this happened to clean the stream by the Threepenny Bit. There are over 3tonne of rubbish. This rubbish has built up over time and due to the council not maintaining areas this lead to the streams bursting there banks and causing unnecessary damage. It's the same old thing, Torfaen won't act until there is a major problem !! This time though there negligence has left lots of Torfaen residents out of pocket AGAIN. Point Two, The drainage systems have not been updated for a long time and was not built to cope with all the amount of houses that are in the area. Although I appreciate that TCBC have a hard task due to budgets, maybe they should think of reducing all the fat cat wages (ones sat on there bum not being realistic) and give the good honest, hard working, hands on workers a pay rise. Because when we all needed there help it was these guys that we're helping the residents affected by the floods not the fat cats. I would like to say to the TCBC workers that provided the elderly with sandbags in the Fairwater area a BIG THANK YOU. You certainly went above and belong you job roles making sure everyone was as safe as could be. Also a BIG THANK YOU to the Fire Brigade as there help was fantastic. Button123
  • Score: 3

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