Conwy coast "very vulnerable" after high tides


Mike Williams

CONWY county has been left “very vulnerable” after the highest tide since 1997 battered sea defences for the second time in a month.

The tidal surge that threatened coastal areas across Wales on Friday did not cause as much damage in Conwy as the floods earlier in December, but damage was done to areas that were already weakened.

Deganwy was left particularly vulnerable after previous floods.

Conwy cabinet member for environment, highways and sustainability, Cllr Mike Priestley, expects the cost of damage and sea defence repairs to reach seven figures.

He said: “We’ve gone two rounds with mother nature and taken an absolute battering.

“The floods weren’t as severe as was predicted, which was a matter of luck, but we did have weakened sea defences after the storms in December.

“Deganwy promenade took a further battering and there was severe erosion where the water actually ate into the railway embankment.

“We’re now very vulnerable to further storms in Conwy.”

Cllr Priestley said that repairs to the county’s weakened sea defences should include improvements, rather than be replaced like for like.

He added: “If we do that, we’re just going to line our defences up for another battering. In my opinion, we should improve the places that are most vulnerable or expect the same level of damage again in the future.”

A “multi agency response” was launched in anticipation of the floods, with sandbags in place in key areas, all promenade gates closed and sea defences in place.

Water pumps were also deployed in Llanddulas and Deganwy’s Marine Crescent.
The high tides came close to overtopping defences in Llanfairfechan, Deganwy and Kinmel Bay.

The worst of the flooding passed without any reports of affected properties, council officials said.

Cllr Priestley added: “We were fully prepared.

“We had a lot of compliments and positive messages from residents and some made a point to thank us.”

Arriva Trains Wales suspended all trains on the North Wales coast on Friday.
The B5106 Llanrwst Road, Conwy; the Promenade, Old Colwyn and Glan Y Môr Road near Rhos-on-Sea Golf Club were closed due to the floods.

In 48 hours, Natural Resources Wales issued flood warnings to 14,800 homes in North Wales, with more than 23,000 properties warned across the country.

Motorists were advised not to drive too close to the coast during high tide.

People were advised to stay clear of promenades and the sea front due to the risk of large waves or debris.

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