How Welsh communities are coping two months after the floods

It is nearly two months on since a series of storms and floods ripped through Wales, destroying homes, businesses and livelihoods.

Thousands of people across Wales had their lives turned upside down after being hit by the worst storms for forty years.

Although the headlines have moved on, many who were affected by the floods are still in need of support and answers.

Carla Joyce, from Pontypridd, lost priceless possessions when her house was destroyed by Storm Dennis.

Carla Joyce's house was ruined after Storm Dennis. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Nearly everything in the house was ruined, after being contaminated by flood water. Carla lost irreplaceable family photos, paperwork, certificates and university work.

Carla lost photos of her sisters when they were toddlers. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Carla said her mother has been struggling to cope with the aftermath of the flooding.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across Wales, the situation has become even more difficult for Carla and her family.

Carla said, "It makes a tricky situation trickier".

The pandemic has meant that Carla and her mother have been split up. Her mother has been staying with relatives in London who can provide her with 24 hour care. Carla said her mother has hospital appointments, which she assumes will be cancelled now.

She said, "It adds to the stress, certainly."

Stuart Glennie's house turned into a building site after damage from the floods. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Stuart Glennie lives on Sion Street in Pontypridd, one of the worst affected by the recent storms.

He said the repairs on his house cost around £26,000 and on top of that, he had to pay to rent somewhere else to live.

Storm Dennis happened on Valentine's weekend and it was Stuart's first one married. He said he feels lucky that he and his wife went out for a meal the night before.

Stuart said his wife has been suffering with stress since the storms and he has been trying to stay strong for her.

How Storm Dennis broke Welsh records... but couldn't break the Welsh spirit

Manon Williams has been told it may take six months before she can return to Llanrwst. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Manon Williams, from Llanrwst, had to live in temporary accommodation for more than a month after the floods.

She said, on the morning when it happened, she woke up and noticed the floor looked a bit darker than normal. After switching on the light, she discovered the room was covered in water. She and her son were stuck in the house.

They eventually managed to escape but Manon said the whole situation has been "a complete nightmare" and since it happened, she has been struggling to sleep.

Lisa Waker has been counselling those affected by flooding. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Studies from the British Medical Journal have found that people who have experienced flooding are more likely to suffer with depression.

In Pentre, psychotherapist Lisa Waker has been offering counselling and support to families in need.

Since the flooding, she has helped set up a therapeutic play scheme. It allows her to find out how families are coping and what things they are still struggling with. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this group is on hold but Lisa is now running a virtual group online instead.

Storm Dennis aftermath: What we know

The floodgates on Sion Street in Pontypridd could not protect the homes. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

As our climate changes, we will continue to see extreme weather.

Alex Deakin from the Met Office said the storms came from areas of low pressure and they developed out in the Atlantic.

He said, "The fact that they just turned up one weekend after another throughout February was to do with the global pattern, it was just a fluke if you like."

"A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, so when it does rain in a warmer atmosphere it rains harder and we’re more likely therefore to see flooding events."

Alex Deakin said we do not know whether we will see more or fewer of these storms.

Pontypridd has suffered from extreme weather. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Assembly Member Lesley Griffiths said repair work on flood defences is still "an absolute priority".

The Welsh Government has given out around £2.8 million to repairing flood schemes and assets.

Lesley Griffiths said, "funding went straight out to people whose houses were flooded".

Despite everything she has been through, Carla Joyce is thankful that she has been able to find a new home.

Carla Joyce has now found a new home. Credit: Carla Joyce

Carla said she has tried to make her new house as homely as possible for her and her mother.

Wales This Week: After The Floods, 8:30pm, 5 April 2020, ITV Cymru Wales and online.

For support you can contact:

  • National Flood Forum 01299 403 055 or

  • Samaritans 116 123

  • C.A.L.L. Mental Health Helpline for Wales 0800 132 737 or text help to 81066