One year on since devastating floods hit communities across the Vale of Clwyd Natural Resources Wales is continuing its efforts to support flood victims, repair damage and improve flood protection for people in the area.
And while those affected by the floods will never forget the upset and disruption they’ve experienced, they are certainly not forgotten.
In October, a new flood warning service was introduced for 120 people living on the Glasdir housing estate in Ruthin. An additional flood warning service has also been introduced for 16 properties at Lower Denbigh Road.
Properties which are not protected by the flood banks on the River Elwy could benefit from Individual Property Protection measures such as flood gates for their homes.
In August, work started on an eight-month-long programme to remove trees, bushes and debris from a 4-mile-long section of the river Elwy to help water flow away quicker when floods threaten.
To date, teams have cleared a large section of the river, between Pont Beggard, Spring Gardens and New Inn as well as raising the flood banks behind Roe Park.
Not so far away, people in 22 properties in the village of Llanfair Talhaiarn, who also experienced flooding during the same incident, have received individual flood gates for their homes.
In addition to this, Natural Resources Wales has also improved the flood defences on the Nant Barog as well as fitting new screens to to catch debris and prevent blockages from occurring in the culverts.
Officers from Natural Resources Wales continue to work with all affected communities to provide advice and support the development of community flood plans.
Since the floods, officers have helped residents on the Glasdir Estate in Ruthin to develop a a community flood plan and flood warden network, as well as continuing to work with 30 volunteers across St Asaph to strengthen the existing flood plan for the city.
Natural Resources Wales has also recently established a ‘St Asaph Flood Partnership Group,’ chaired by John Roberts, Mayor of St Asaph.
This group consists of members from Natural Resources Wales, Denbighshire County Council, North Wales Police, North Wales Fire and Rescue, County Councillors, City Councillors, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and representatives from the community.
"The recently established Flood Partnership Group is a very important mechanism in linking the community with all the agencies and for receiving updates on the work that has been undertaken to date and proposals for work that will be carried out over a longer period.
“Through the Partnership group, residents who have been directly affected by the flooding can, through their representatives feed in their experiences and highlight any issues which Natural Resources Wales can take into consideration when planning long and short term flood protection measures.
“The newsletter that NRW circulates is hopefully keeping people informed of the work that is being undertaken to reduce the risk of this type of event happening again and to make the community more resilient to flooding.”
Tim Jones, from Natural Resources Wales said:
“We understand that the events of last year will still be fresh in the minds of many of those affected and we want to reassure people that we are still working hard to make St Asaph, Ruthin and other valuable communities more resilient to flooding.
“We’ve already achieved a lot, but are continuing to look at long terms plans to provide a better level of flood protection for the area.
“We will never be able to prevent all flooding from happening, but we are committed to working with all the agencies involved to help support communities at risk of flooding and prepare and protect them as best we can.”
Approximately 485 properties across the Vale of Clwyd were flooded last November when the Rivers Elwy and Clwyd over topped the flood banks, following days of torrential rainfall.
In the immediate aftermath of the floods, Natural Resources Wales instigated a programme of emergency works to clear debris from the rivers and to repair flood defences which had been damaged by flood waters.
A series of public drop in sessions have been held in conjunction with Denbighshire county council, immediately after the event, and throughout the year, to provide advice, support and information to those who were affected.