Flood investigation report – St Asaph and Elwy Communities 2020

An in-depth report documenting the impacts of the flood events of February 2020 on the Afon Elwy has been published

The Flood Investigation Report (FIR) has examined the conditions within the Afon Elwy catchment prior to the heavy rainfall experienced during February’s storms, the extent and magnitude of the rainfall event and the subsequent impacts of the rising water which led to the flooding of several residential and commercial properties.

Storm Ciara brought high winds and torrential rain during the wettest February on record, resulting in the highest ever recorded flow at the Pont Y Gwyddel gauge station, higher than those observed during the devasting 2012 flood event.

Considering these extreme levels, the findings from the report show that the NRW flood risk management scheme at St Asaph, completed in 2018, performed well and protected the vast majority of homes it was designed to protect. 

The report shows the NRW investment to improve the St Asaph flood scheme helped to protect hundreds of homes in the area, preventing a repeat of the widespread flooding experienced in 2012. The majority of embankments successfully stopped the river from overtopping and protected properties along the catchment.

Without the scheme up to 370 properties would have been at risk of suffering serious flooding as they did in 2012.

The report also acknowledges that a number of residential properties, commercial premises and caravan parks did unfortunately flood. Many of these were outside the defended area for the St Asaph scheme.

NRW is committed to working with partner flood risk management authorities to learn lessons from the event,  to better understand the flood risk in the area with a view to further improving its flood risk procedures and its working practices to reduce the risk of flooding to St Asaph and Elwy Communities in future.

NRW will now take action to work with its professional partners and other Risk Management Authorities as well as local communities in order to better understand and manage future flood risk for communities in this area.

Concerned about flooding in your area? Sign up to receive flood warnings in Wales by phone, email or text message if you home or business is at risk of flooding, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.