Lifeboats help flood-hit residents

Braintree and Witham Times: Council workers put sandbags on the paths leading to houses on the Coast Road in Rhyl, North Wales. Council workers put sandbags on the paths leading to houses on the Coast Road in Rhyl, North Wales.

Residents have been ferried to safety from flooded homes by lifeboats as the storm battered the coast.

Flood rescue teams from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service are now conducting street by street searches to ensure no one is left behind in the bungalows under water in Rhyl, North Wales.

Teams used two RNLI flood rescue boats, manned by volunteers from the local area, for the evacuation of 25 residents and six dogs, which has now been completed.

Denbighshire County Council said there was some concern for 74 properties on West Parade, Rhyl, between Butterton Road and Sydenham Avenue.

There is also concern about flooding in an area between the Nova Centre Prestatyn and the Grand Hotel, as well as the Splash Point area of Rhyl.

The evacuation operation came as the whole coast from Anglesey to Liverpool was put on alert as the winter storm blew in.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is urging people along the coast to take action to protect themselves and their properties from flooding because high tides and gale force winds are expected to cause sea surges at their highest levels for the last 10 years, possibly 20 years, from 11.30am today and this will create sea levels 1m higher than normal.

The high tide was expected to peak at approximately 11.30am on the eastern parts of Anglesey and continue up the coast towards Flintshire during the morning and into the afternoon.

NRW has already issued 12 flood warnings and severe flood warnings are likely to be issued for the Greenfield to Bagillt and Point of Ayr in the Dee Estuary.

North Wales Police had urged residents along parts of the Flintshire coast to leave their properties due to a "severe risk of flooding" and the public were warned to stay away from the sea front.

Police said the specific areas which need to be evacuated are Talacre, Ty'n Y Morfa, Dee Bank, Boot, Welston, Walwen and the Greenfield Business Park.

Some schools in Flintshire have also been closed because of the weather conditions.

Holywell Leisure Centre is being made available as a rest centre for anyone affected who wishes to use it.

North Wales Police said in a statement: "A multi-agency response continues in various coastal areas across North Wales.

"Residents are being urged to monitor emergency services messages online, on radio and television for the latest information.

"As of 2pm people living or working in properties in the Greenfield to Bagillt and the Point of Ayr areas of Flintshire have been advised to evacuate and a rest centre has been opened by Flintshire County Council at Holywell Leisure Centre.

"Properties in Garford Road, Rhyl, have been flooded and residents evacuated to Rhyl Leisure Centre where a rest centre has been set up by Denbighshire County Council.

"If other areas need to be evacuated emergency services will alert residents, inform the media, update social media and attend locations to assist to ensure people's safety."

North Wales Police said the immediate risks caused by the high winds and tides had abated.

About 400 people are being cared for at Rhyl Leisure Centre after flooding in the Garford Road area.

Emergency services are searching affected properties in an effort to account for all residents.

A similar rest centre at Holywell Leisure Centre has now closed after the surrounding area escaped any serious flooding.

Chief Superintendent Jeremy Vaughan, who is leading the multi-agency response across North Wales, said: "Although the immediate danger has passed, we are assessing the overall situation and providing assistance where it is needed.

"We would ask people to monitor emergency services messages online, on radio and television for the latest information."

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