Storm Dennis clean-up begins after hundreds of homes and businesses flooded

Thousands of people in south Wales are beginning a huge clean-up operation as communities try and come to terms with the aftermath of Storm Dennis.

Trains are cancelled and many roads remain impassable after Storm Dennis lashed parts of Wales over the weekend, bringing up to a month's worth of rain in 48 hours.

Staff members cleaning outside the Celtic Flooring store, which has been damaged by floodwater in Nantgarw, Credit: PA Images

As hundreds were displaced from their homes following the severe weather, local rugby clubs and community centres around south Wales have opened their doors offering shower facilities and food for people.

One of the worst-hit areas was the village of Nantgarw, near Cardiff, where entire streets were left underwater from the early hours of Sunday morning.

First Minister Mark Drakeford and Mick Antoniw, the AM for Pontypridd, visited flood-hit residents in Nantgarw to see for themselves the devastation on Monday afternoon.

First Minister Mark Drakeford met with residents in Nantgarw on Monday afternoon

A yellow weather warning was in place until 11am on Monday, covering coastal areas of Wales with more warnings forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

Natural Resources Wales had downgraded many of the flood warnings by Monday morning with 24 flood warnings in place, alongside 27 flood alerts.

From Nantgarw to Aberdulais, people were left counting the cost of the damage to their homes and businesses:

The storm appeared to have washed tonnes of debris along the River Taff which ended up in Cardiff Bay on Monday morning.

Emergency workers were seen clearing up the nearby boardwalk.

ITV Wales' team of reporters are out speaking to residents who have been affected the most by the severe weather, with them reporting on the upset and anger being felt across communities as well as the strength of community spirit.

Police declared a "major incident" in south Wales after severe flooding from Storm Dennis.

Streets were evacuated with the help of lifeboats in some of the worst-hit areas and people moved to emergency rescue centres.

Natural Resources Wales described Storm Dennis as an "extremely severe weather event".

"Storm Dennis brought significant rainfall totals, particularly across the Brecon Beacons and the South Wales valleys," a spokesman said.

"Our provisional data shows that the River Taff at Pontypridd reached the highest level for over 40 years - higher than the 1979 flood by nearly a metre."

A member of the public and their dog is rescued after flooding in Nantgarw. Credit: PA

Police say they rescued hundreds of people from their homes, with many having been taken to one of seven rescue centres set up by local authorities.

The force told people in affected areas to stay indoors unless a journey was necessary, avoid waterways, and monitor social media for updates.

A digger is used to clear debris, carried by floodwater, from the road outside the Aberdare Hotel in Mountain Ash. Credit: PA

Transport for Wales has warned all rail passengers to check before travelling on Monday with a number of lines likely to be affected.

The following lines were closed on Monday with some rail replacement services unavailable.

  • Cardiff Valley Lines - flooding north of Pontypridd has cut off services to Porth, Aberdare and Merthyr to Tydfil due to flooding at Trehafod.

  • Ebbw Vale Town - Crosskeys line is closed due to a landslip

  • Newport – Hereford, services on the Marches line will be replaced by a road replacement service due to flooding.

  • Heart of Wales line (Flooding at Knighton)

  • Conwy Valley – a rail replacement bus service will operate between Llandudno Junction & Blaenau Ffestiniog

  • Cambrian Line – a rail replacement bus service will operate from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and between Machynlleth to Pwllheli.

Motorist have also been warned that conditions remain dangerous despite flood warnings having been downgraded.

Many roads have been deemed "impassable" because of flood water with the latest updates available on the Traffic Wales website.

The situation was described as "life threatening" in much of south Wales on Sunday, where a red warning issued for heavy rainfall and flooding.

The Met Office said that winds of more than 80mph were recorded across parts of the country, with the highest measuring 91mph in Aberdaron on Saturday.

A total of 156.2mm of rain fell at Crai Reservoir in Powys in the 48 hours from Friday to Sunday morning.

Rescue operations continue as emergency services take residents of Oxford Street, Nantgarw to safety on inflatable rafts. Credit: PA

Heavy rain fall caused "multiple" landslides, including one near Tylorstown in the Rhondda Valley.

Emergency teams including firefighter and volunteers had been evacuating Nantgarw's Oxford Street since around 5am on Sunday.

Ashleigh Jenkins who lives in the village said she feared for her life when she saw how much flood water had come into her house.

Pontypridd was also hit by flooding after the River Taff burst its banks, forcing shops and businesses to remain closed on its main shopping street while cars were left stranded in roads.

Shop owner Emma Jamal told ITV News she is completely "devastated" after she could have lost between £200,000 and £400,000 worth of jewellery.

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

Another woman in Llanhilleth, who has lived in the area for six years, said she had never seen anything like the floods that came over the weekend.

Water came into Sarah Blanche's home, ruining her belongings on the ground floor.

Fundraising appeals have already raised £30,000 to help people affected by the storms.

Local businesses and politicians are collecting donations for people who have lost everything and more than a dozen online fundraising appeals have been launched – raising nearly £30,000 in less than 24 hours.

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