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  1. ITV Report

Remembering the Towyn flooding disaster 30 years on

Credit: ITV News

On the morning of February 26, I remember standing at the top of Sandbank Road, Towyn watching in disbelief as the sea flooded in.

Huge waves had smashed through the sea wall, water surging into homes and properties.

There was simply nothing people could do to stop it.

At that point I had no idea just how huge the disaster was. Almost 2,000 homes flooded and thousands turned into flood refugees in a matter of minutes.

All they could do was grab what they could and leave. They lost so much, these people.

It wasn't so much the furniture or carpets, they could be replaced. It was personal possessions, something as simple as a cherished family photo-gone forever.

In some of the streets the sewage polluted water was chest deep and many had to be rescued by boat or even helicopter.

If it had happened at night and not in daylight it is certain many would have lost their lives.

And in the aftermath of the floods there was the clean-up. Hundreds were out of their homes for months. Many were not insured.

There were visits by politicians and even royalty in the following months as the community slowly recovered.

Thousands of people had to be evacuated. Credit: ITV News

At the time the storm that caused the disaster was described as a freak, 1 in 200 year event. That assumption has proved false.

It is a sad irony that as I write this so many in Wales and the UK find themselves facing the same shock, uncertainty and despair as those poor Towyn flood victims all those years ago.

I believe those Towyn floods, long before the term 'climate change' was coined, were the precursor of what has become a very worrying new reality for us all.