The flooding we have seen in the Vale of Clwyd in recent times has highlighted the need for more work to shore up our flood defences and flood preparedness.
In 2012, St Asaph experienced major flooding and, following that, periods of bad weather often caused deep concern for many people living in the city. It was a priority of mine after those devastating floods to ensure that the work evidently needed to strengthen the town’s defences was fully put into place.
I was pleased that, in 2018, a programme of works to reduce flood risk was carried out in St Asaph but, although those defences worked generally well during Storm Ciara in 2020, there was still not sufficient protection in place in certain locations. Sadly, a small number of properties further upstream were severely flooded.
Roe Parc, a residential area of 54 properties located downstream of the A55, which was particularly badly hit in the 2012 floods, required the urgent placement of sandbags to prevent overtopping at either end of the wall behind the estate during Storm Ciara (Feb 2020).
The residents of the estate had been pushing hard to raise the issue with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and, alongside local councillor Peter Scott, I lobbied NRW strongly and persistently to ensure these issues were addressed.
I was delighted when NRW carried out works to the Roe Parc and Spring Gardens defences in 2021, and fitted a new non-return flap on the culvert that runs under Lower Denbigh Road.
The previous defences were designed for a 1 in 200 year event. My understanding is that now the more recent works have taken place, they essentially protect Roe Parc against a 1 in 250-300 year event. This provides St Asaph with significantly enhanced protection as compared to pre-2018 and residents with greater peace of mind. There do however remain threats to properties upstream, where new hard defences are not feasible. Other options, such as natural flood management schemes, are required.
I will continue following concern on this issue and support further efforts to protect our region from flooding where possible. Seafront flood defence improvements are ongoing, and plans to better protect Dyserth are also under development.