More preventable flooding event hit parts of Rhondda Cynon Taf due to years of underinvestment by Welsh Government local council and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

There have been a number of Weather Warnings issued over the course of the last three weeks as RCT and much of Wales has seen a relentless period of rainfall, which has seen one and a half times the average rainfall for the whole of January in just the first 2 weeks, with locations in Cynon and Rhondda recording 100mm of rainfall in one night. 

This has unfortunately seen around 50 properties being flooded over the course of the last week. These have been a mix of commercial and residential properties, and around half of this total was due to river flooding.  Information on those properties affected by river flooding has been passed on to Natural Resources Wales as the Flood Risk Management Authority for rivers.

While it is extremely concerning that properties are getting flooded, it is important to note that the millions of pounds of investment in culverts and drainage infrastructure has meant that none of the schemes upgraded since Storm Dennis in February 2020 failed.

With over 100 schemes carried out across RCT since 2020, the weather in recent weeks only strengthens our belief that this vital work to upgrade culverts and watercourses needs to continue at pace over the coming years, as the effects of climate change sharpen.

Many more culverts and watercourses require upgrading, and this week the Council will be submitting bids in the range of £8m to Welsh Government for the forthcoming financial year.  The Council is clear that this work needs to continue and accelerate to protect as many properties as possible.

Throughout the duration of the Weather Warnings, the Council’s Emergency Control Centre was manned, and additional crews and resources were brought in on standby to respond to issues as and when they arose.

The last week has also seen a number of examples of highways flooding.  Again, the areas that have benefitted from Welsh Government’s Resilient Roads funding did not flood, however there were a number of problem areas and the Council will look to address these urgently.

One example is the Trehafod bypass, which flooded due to water overtopping from culverts next to the railway line on Transport for Wales’ land.  The Council has been liaising and working urgently with TfW to resolve this issue.

Another example is near the ASDA store in Llwyn-y-pia, where the road flooded over the weekend.  This appears to be due to water from mineworkings breaking out of the road and wall adjacent to the highway.  Again, the Council is working with the Coal Authority to address this ongoing issue.

In addition to these examples, there are a number of other sites across the County Borough where the Council will be required to continue to upgrade and invest in its infrastructure network to reduce the risk of flooding as much as possible.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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