Flintshire woman living in a hotel for 17 weeks after her home was flooded due to Storm Babet

  • ITV Wales' Ian Lang reports from Flintshire.

A north Wales woman who has been living in a hotel for 17 weeks after her home was flooded during Storm Babet says her family has lost "everything".

Many schools were closed due to the heavy rain and flooding in the region when Babet swept across the UK.

Judith Owen from Flintshire said: "As a family we've been living in a hotel now for 17 weeks and we're hoping to be back in, hopefully, in the next couple of months.

"We haven't got guarantees or promises. It's been really difficult. We're living in a room and at the hote, we've got no fridge, we've got no cooking facilities, nothing."So it's been really difficult. We're there with my daughter who's a nurse who's been working long shifts."

Senedd member Carolyn Thomas, whose home village in Flintshire was flooded during Storm Babet, is calling for a national plan to pinpoint responsibility for surface water drains, ditches, and culverts.

She says these drains and ditches pose a flooding risk across Wales if they are neglected, forgotten or responsibility is unclear.

She said: "Flooding is a big issue. I want to make homeowners more resilient against flooding. It can happen really suddenly overnight.

"When it happens, it's devastating. People very often phone the council up instead of the fire service because they just don't know what to do to get help.

"They are asking for sandbags. But councils nowadays won't provide sandbags."They haven't got the funding to do so. So homeowners need to do things themselves to be more resilient and to be prepared.

"But I'm also asking that landowners who have got ditches and culverts will be responsible for them, not the council, that they will maintain them properly."

Welsh Government spokesperson said: "We know it is not possible to stop or prevent all flooding and coastal erosion, but we can and are indeed taking steps to reduce the consequences and help create more resilient communities across Wales.

Storm Babet had severe impact in north Wales that resulted in flooding. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

"The installation of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) and other natural flood management helps slow down run off and helps reduce pollution, and we continue to support water industry campaigns to prevent the flushing of anything other than toilet paper into the sewerage system."

Keith Ivens, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Operations Manager, Flood and Water Management, said: “Managing flood risk in some areas is more complex than in others and it is important that we work closely with partners, such as Flintshire County Council in this instance, to reduce risk in communities through routine maintenance programmes, and in developing business case plans for improvement works that require capital investment funding from Welsh Government.

“Private landowners also have a part to play. If you own land or property next to a river, stream or ditch you are therefore a ‘riparian landowner’ with certain rights and responsibilities in connection to the water flowing through your land. We have produced a guidance document that is available on our website with added information.” 

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