Investigation has now been launched into Rhyl's sea defences

Published date: 11 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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AN INVESTIGATION has now been launched after Rhyl’s sea defences were breached during the storm last Thursday.

Alun Davies, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Environment, said lessons need to be learned after sections of the town’s flood defences were overwhelmed near Splash Point.

About 130 properties were flooded, with many residents staying with friends or relatives while more than 40 people have been placed in emergency accommodation.

The clean-up operation is continuing with many residents set to be spending the festive period out of their homes.

Mr Davies said: “A one metre storm surge was caused by a deep low pressure system, combined with high winds and a very high spring tide to raise sea levels in the Irish and North Sea.

"The surge hit the North Wales coastline causing extensive flooding and damage.

"A Gold Command response was instigated by North Wales Police early on Thursday morning after flood forecast models predicted significant flooding.

"This was an extraordinary event and it is fortunate that lives were not lost.

"This was thanks to the existing defences, effective forecasting and the coordinated efforts of the emergency services and Natural Resources Wales and local authorities.

"Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, a local authority should investigate flooding in its area.

"On this occasion, I will be asking for an investigation into this coastal flood event to be coordinated by Natural Resources Wales and for this report to involve all of the North Wales authorities affected.

"We are currently investing over £240 million in flood and coastal erosion risk management over the life of this Government.

"In addition to this we will receive over £60 million from the European Regional Development Fund and Central Capital Allocation over the period, reducing the risks for over 7,000 homes and businesses across Wales.

"Since 2011 the Welsh Government has provided £20 million for significant recent improvements to coastal defences along the North Wales coast and further £9 million of works are planned.

"In particular, the West Rhyl Coastal Defence scheme which is benefiting from £10million of funding.

"This scheme when complete will reduce the risk to 2700 properties and undoubtedly helped to avoid further impacts from last week's flood event."

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