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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Huge emergency evacuation operation in flood-hit North Wales city as hundreds of families are told to leave their homes after river burst

By VANESSA ALLEN and EMMA REYNOLDS

Waist-deep: Emergency services wade through flooded streets to help families escape from their homes after the River Elwy rose to record levels and submerged the city

-Police have been knocking on families' doors to tell them to leave their houses
-Many are sheltering at the leisure centre after the lower half of the city was lashed with rain
-Days of rain have turned roads into rivers, flooded more than 900 homes and left at least four people dead
-One in five trains were hit by delays yesterday with transport network in chaos
-Owners of 4x4s ignored closures and danger warnings in arrogant belief their vehicles could cope with deep water
-Rescuers said vital manpower wasted plucking drivers from stranded cars instead of coping with other emergencies
-Environment Agency have issued 204 flood warnings and 277 flood alerts for England and Wales

Close call: A woman wades towards her rescuers, clutching a few possessions, after the constant downpours caused the nearby river to flow over its defences and into St Asaph

Hundreds of families have been told to evacuate their homes in a north Wales city after a river burst its banks overnight.
People living in the lower part of St Asaph in Denbighshire were told to go to stay with friends or family in the early hours of this morning.
Others headed to the local leisure centre, where the Red Cross has opened a shelter overnight and is helping around 100 flood victims.

Lifesavers: Rescuers help an elderly couple to escape from their home in a lifeboat in St Asaph, North Wales, after the River Elwy burst its banks

The River Elwy level is said to be at a record high at 3.89 metres and rising steadily, with the torrential rain set to persist for at least eight hours more.
The Environment Agency warned that 'conditions are expected to deteriorate' following 24 hours of non-stop rain.

Dramatic wake-up call: An RNLI life boat crew pass houses as they battle to reach families trapped in their homes by floodwater

Police spent the night knocking on the doors of the 90 homes at greatest risk.
Father Vincent Jones said: 'I had a knock at 12.30am to say there was an imminent flood, and then at 4.30am we were told to leave.
'When I left, within an hour the water had engulfed us.
'I put some personal possessions upstairs and made sure we took the children to safety.
'My sister in law on the other side of St Asaph has taken the kids in.

Distressing: More than 900 homes in England and Wales have been flooded as heavy rain and strong winds batter the country and environmental officials warned of more downpours today

source: dailymail



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