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Devastation and disruption as Storm Jorge hits Wales

Banks of River Taff in Pontypridd are threatening to burst Credit: RCT Council

Storm Jorge has caused major disruption across parts of Wales with pubic transport cancelled and water levels in rivers exceedingly high.

A "critical incident" was declared on Saturday morning by South Wales Police following flooding and severe weather but it has since been stood down.

South Wales Police have said the situation will be monitored throughout the day and agencies remain prepared if further issues arise.

The emergency services are co-coordinating a multi-agency response with various local authorities and health boards.

The police have said organisations like Natural Resources Wales are working continuously to ensure the safety and welfare of those affected and to "minimise damage to infrastructure and property, and minimise disruption."

72
calls were taken by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service last night between 6pm and 6am.

Areas affected around Newport, Pontypridd, Rhondda and Ely, Cardiff have been attended by the emergency services however some roads are still closed.

At its peak Ely Bridge on Cowbridge Road was closed for around 2 hours.

Superintendent Andy Kingdom, Gold commander, said: “I would like to thank all our emergency services and partners for their assistance and professionalism.

There is severe flooding around Ely Bridge on Cowbridge Road

Indications are that the rain is set to stop and river levels will soon recede. There is still significant surface water and debris on the roads throughout the force area so we would advise people only to travel if absolutely necessary.

– Superintendent Andy Kingdom, Gold commander
Photos taken overnight of River Taff show extreme water levels Credit: RCT Council

South Wales Police are warning the public to:

  • Remain indoors, unless your journey is absolutely necessary.
  • Steer well clear of dangers such as waterways.
  • In an emergency, dial 999 – let highly skilled emergency service and rescue staff deal with incidents safely.
  • Monitor local media and social media accounts for relevant organisations for updates.
The water levels on the River Taff at Pontypridd are extremely high Credit: RCT Council

Treherbert, Rhondda Cynon Taf, experienced around 130mm of rainfall in 48 hours and wind speeds in some parts are expected to reach 70mph.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning beginning at 12pm on Saturday and lasting until 12pm on Sunday, March 1.

The Met Office forecast says: "Strong winds will move into south-western parts of the UK by Saturday afternoon, and steadily move north-east through the course of Saturday evening and overnight into Sunday morning."

Rhondda Cynon Taf council has said: “All our roads are open and passable with care, with surface water present on many routes.

The Council will continue to work throughout the weekend in response to the significant rainfall experienced during Storm Jorge.

– Rhondda Cynon Taf spokesperson

The worst of the weather is hitting areas that have already been hard hit by Storm Dennis two weeks ago and the areas have yet to fully recover.

Tin Plate Allotments in Pontypridd has suffered extreme damage after weeks of storms.

This footage was taken by Kevin Fortey:

Transport for Wales has issued a statement updating passengers on the rail services:

Following flooding at a number of locations across Wales caused by heavy and sustained rain falling on already saturated ground, our frontline teams are working round the clock to reopen affected lines as soon as possible...

– Transport for Wales
Flooding affecting the Cambrian railway line Credit: Transport for Wales

Speed restrictions on certain lines will also be in place on Saturday afternoon from 3pm until 8pm.

Transport for Wales have said a number of lines remain closed and urge customers to check before they travel.