How the people of Pentre rallied together in the face of adversity following more floods

Residents in Pentre who experienced being flooded for the third time this year are continuing to clean up after many homes were damaged during heavy rain this week.

Almost 200 homes in the area were affected just four months after suffering devastating flood damage from Storm Dennis, with many people still recovering from the fallout of that. Coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, one politician is calling for an “urgent inquiry” into how this could have happened again in such a short space of time.

Many homes in the area were damaged during heavy rain

Mother-of-two Shauna Jones, who lives on Treharne Street, told ITV News' Hannah Thomas she "lost everything" after flood water entered her home on Wednesday evening.

"I've lost everything. All my eldest's toys, shoes, all right through the flooring, photos of my father who's deceased, photos of my newborn, everything I've lost."

But one thing she did praise was the spirit of the village - something that is echoed around the Rhondda as a unique feature of these South Wales communities.

Sandbags were dropped off to people to protect their homes as heavy rain came on Wednesday evening

Painter and decorator Kevin Shortman had just finished painting a neighbour's house which was damaged in Storm Dennis, when hours later the flooding had returned.

When asked how people in the community have continued to lift each other's spirits up, Kevin said, "We just do."

"That's just the Rhondda people. We just are what we are. We welcome anybody. When the floods happened, the local fish and chip shop, he came up on a Tuesday and had sausage and chips for everybody. I think it goes back years ago to when the mines were here, because everybody looked after each other."

Buffy Williams has been handing out cleaning products to residents

Buffy Williams the community centre and village hub in Pentre. She has been sorting cleaning products for people who have been flooded. Canolfan Pentre.

"I think this village is very special. From the day we opened our doors to begin with, the community have always come out and supported us. We have always been there for them, and they have always been there for us."

But the community still want answers about how their homes have been so vulnerable flooding so many times this year.

Many have pointed to the fact Natural Resources Wales have been felling diseased trees in the area, which had previously been blocking culverts.

The council were out clearing drains on Friday

Natural Resources Wales say that inspections showed that the culverts were clear on Wednesday and say it was the sheer volume of rain that fell in such a short period of time that caused the flooding in Pentre.

Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Andrew Morgan said he feels a "sense of guilt" that the flooding has happened again.

"At the end of the day it's no good me telling residents that the flooding happened from a totally different source, a different type of flood to last time. At the end of the day, they've been flooded", he said.