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UK: Mold community prepared for flooding

“We put on our wellies and waterproofs and checked how high the river was from the top of the banks...

Residents of a Wales & West Housing retirement scheme at Llys Pont Y Felin, in Mold, have better protection from flooding thanks to a husband and wife team who have developed a community flood plan for their neighbours.

Mike and Maureen Murphy have been working closely with Environment Agency Wales officers to develop the plan which covers 26 retirement apartments at risk of flooding from the River Alyn.

And last month they had the opportunity to put their plan to the test following a week of heavy rainfall which caused flooding across the country.

As the River Alyn rose quickly in response to the heavy rainfall, the couple grew concerned as they could see the high the river levels from their garden.

Shortly after, they received a flood alert from the Agency, and put their flood plan into action.

Mr Murphy said:
"We'd been monitoring the river levels as the rain had been persistently coming down for some time. We referred to our flood plan and stepped up our monitoring of the river.

"We put on our wellies and waterproofs and checked how high the river was from the top of the banks, and checked to see if there were any blockages around the bridge could have restricted the river flow.

"We noticed that a tree had fallen into the river behind our home, so we notified Environment Agency Wales who came to assess the situation straight away.

"It was reassuring to have the flood plan with all the contacts we needed and to allow us to plan how we would respond if the river had actually flooded.

"It's frightening to see how easy flooding can happen, and I'd definitely encourage other people to think about developing a flood plan for peace of mind."

The flood plan outlines exactly who will do what when flooding is expected and during a flood.

It also holds all the information that would be needed during an emergency such as important contact details, evacuation routes and details of vulnerable people on the estate who would need extra assistance.

David Edwell, from Environment Agency Wales said:
"Working together as a group is vital during flooding, where a fast response is essential.

"Having an emergency plan in place means that people can act swiftly to protect their families and their properties."

Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive of Wales & West Housing said:
"We're pleased that our residents have been working together to develop a flood plan. Environment Agency Wales have been incredibly supportive to the group and we're proud of Mr and Mrs Murphy for taking the lead in raising awareness of flooding among their neighbours."

Many properties in Mold have experienced significant flooding from the River Alyn in the past, most significantly in the year 2000. The area also suffers with problems from surface water flooding during prolonged periods of heavy rainfall.

Since the year 2000, the Agency and Flintshire County Council have constructed a flood defence scheme along the river in Mold.

A free flood warning service is also available to communities in the River Alyn Catchment which includes 845 properties in Mold.

For more information about how to prepare for flooding as an individual or a community, contact Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/floodwales