Homes evacuated as Storm Dennis brings severe flooding to south Wales

Hundreds of people have been rescued from their homes after severe flooding caused by heavy and prolonged rain affected parts of south Wales.

The Met Office issued the most severe weather warning as evacuations took place in the worst affected communities.

Homes were flooded and cars were submerged following torrential downpours Credit: PA Images

By Sunday evening, South Wales Police said hundreds are currently residing in rescue centres set up by local authorities across Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil.

A rescue worker carries a dog to safety in Nantgarw Credit: PA Images

Public warnings and alerts remain in place and whilst the situation across the region shows signs of improvement, the police said "there is no room for complacency, so any road closures and safety advice must be adhered to and respected."

Emergency services spent Sunday helping residents escape the floods in places such as Treforest.

Around 100 people have been rescued from their flooded homes in the village of Nantgarw.

Shop owners clear up the water in Pontypridd town centre Credit: PA Images

The severity of the flooding caused the police to declare a "major incident" with landslides also occurring in the valleys.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Gilmer, said: “It’s vitally important that people still follow safety advice. Whilst things may appear to be getting better, there is still a serious risk to people and property.

“The disruption has been significant and over the next few days there will be many people who are left dealing with the aftermath of what has been a devastating storm. I would like to thank them for the cooperation they have shown, and I would like to reassure them all, that our work will continue until we are satisfied that people are no longer at risk."

Emergency service worker high-fives young resident after rescuing her from floods in Treforest Credit: Huw Evans Images

Overnight, the River Taff burst its banks in Pontypridd with the high street flooded and cars submerged.

The local car park is flooded after the river burst its banks in Pontypridd Credit: mbladdon37

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said residents whose homes have been impacted by the flooding were currently being evacuated to local leisure centres.

Leader of the council Cllr Andrew Morgan described it as a "major emergency" and MP Alex-Davies Jones said she is liaising with the council and Welsh Government to help the people and businesses affected by the flooding.

"It's quite an extreme move but we have seen widespread falls across the whole region," forecaster Greg Dewhurst said.

Severe flood warning were issued for the Scottish Borders and for the River Neath in South Wales.

In the 24 hours to 7am, Tredegar received 105 mm of rain, while the fastest gust recorded in same period was in Aberdaron where 91 mph was recorded at 6pm on Saturday.

Pontcanna Fields in Cardiff resembled a flood plain after the river burst its banks overnight.

Cardiff Council's leader Huw Thomas said the city has seen the highest river flows recorded since the barrage was built in Cardiff Bay, with 700 cubic metres per second on the River Taff and Ely.

“A significant amount of debris has come down the rivers and into Cardiff Bay and there is the potential for more debris, currently beyond the Harbour limits, still to come downstream. I want to assure residents that over the coming days our teams will be working hard to clean up the area and to help where help is needed.”

Roads in communities and motorways were affected with services to public transport delayed.

Rescue crews were seen wading through water in Treforest, Pontypridd to help residents whose homes had been flooded.

Natural Resources Wales said there are two severe flood warnings in place for the River Taff at Pontypridd and the River Neath at Aberdulais.

On Sunday afternoon, there were 55 flood warnings in place, alongside 52 flood alerts.

One resident in Aberdulais said his "entire street was ruined" and his new kitchen has been completely destroyed.

Towns and villages in Abergavenny and Crickhowell were also flooded with people reporting on social media that they have "never seen flooding like it before".

The A470 was closed both ways from the A483 to the Royal Welsh showground in Builth Wells.

ITV News' Rob Osborne reported from Pontypridd where the high street was flooded, causing devastation to some businesses.

A shop owner in the town centre said the flooding hit her store like an earthquake and she is completely "devastated".

Emma Jamal said she could have lost between £200,000 - £400,000 pounds worth of jewellery.

Local councillor Mike Powell said he had never seen flooding so bad in Pontypridd.

"We're trying to get all of the residents out who can't make it on their own... Residents can't stay in these homes".

The road over Sardis Road in Pontypridd was turned into a waterfall and motorists became stranded as a result of the water flooding the road below.

The severe weather caused some valleys towns to be hit by landslides with a viewer capturing a landslip in Tylorstown.

Houses in Taffs Well were also partially submerged in water.

Public transport has been disrupted with Transport for Wales confirming the the Valleys line is closed as flooding in Taffs Well cut off services to Aberdare, Treherbert and Merthyr Tydfil.

Areas near Swansea have also been affected with this picture of Mond Valley Golf Club in Clydach completely submerged was shared on social media.

Credit: Sian Astley

Transport for Wales said it is urging all customers to check before they travel on Sunday with the "situation changing all the time".

TfW also closed the Crosskeys line in Ebbw Vale and the line from Newport to Hereford as the roads are described as "impassable".

There is no service either on Great Western Railway between Port Talbot Parkway and Cardiff Central.

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You can also check for updates by phoning Floodline 0345 988 1188.