Storm Franklin: Powys residents rescued by boat as homes evacuated amid flooding

Rural Affairs Correspondent Hannah Thomas meets those affected by Storm Franklin flooding

Homes were evacuated and seven people were rescued by boat after the River Severn burst its banks during Storm Franklin.

Storm Franklin's wind and rain follows the disruption and damage of Dudley and Eunice - the first time since 2015 that Wales has seen three named storms in a week, forecasters say.

Residents of one Powys village were "inundated with water" on Sunday afternoon (February 20).

Karl Lewis, Llandinam's Conservative councillor, told ITV Wales: "Later on in the afternoon, water started to rise in the car park near the A470 and from then on it was a complete nightmare.

"From 5pm, we started evacuating residents. Those people were evacuated by boats from Aberystwyth Fire Service."

Some properties were saved from the incoming floodwater thanks to volunteers helping to lay sandbags, but Cllr Lewis shared his frustration that the incident was able to happen.

"I've lived here all my life, 41 years, and I've never seen water like this before. It's never breached the A470", he said.

"I have written to the NRW (Natural Resources Wales) on a number of occasions saying this river needs dredging. Back in the 80s, we never had water levels of this type before.

"They don't keep it low enough when we're coming into the rainy season and unfortunately we're in this predicament now where the River Severn is at quite a high level."

The total damage in Llandinam meant four properties were flooded out, five properties evacuated and seven residents were displaced.

Cllr Lewis added: "NRW is not funded properly so local people are suffering as a result of a lack of funding by Welsh Government."

Storm Franklin closed many roads in Powys Credit: ITV Wales

In response, NRW said dredging and clearing water channels is an important part of their flood risk maintenance work.

"A large part of our time is spent removing silt, vegetation and other obstructions from rivers and streams. This work is more effective in some locations than others, so the decision on whether to dredge is made on a case by case basis, as often it is not the best solution compared with other flood risk measures.

"Large scale dredging is not always the solution to reduce flooding, and in many cases it would not solve the problem and can even make matters worse. Making a river deeper may seem a logical thing to do to reduce flood risk, but in reality this does not mean that it can cope with an equivalent amount of flood water."