Welsh flood: 150 evacuated from caravan site as flash flooding hits UK
The Riverside Caravan Park had to be evacuated after hours of torrential rain
Monday, 11, Jun 2012 03:04
by Tom Lowenstein
More than 100 terrified caravanners had to be rescued from their holiday homes after torrential downpours caused flash flooding in Wales at the weekend (June 9th-10th).
Holidaymakers staying at the Riverside Caravan Park in Landre near Aberystwyth, Wales, were left frantically fighting for their lives when the River Lery burst its banks.
A huge rescue operation was carried out by the RAF, coastguard and fire services, with families stranded in their caravans and the water levels rising rapidly.
In some cases, the water rose 5ft up the side of people's caravans and two teenage girls had to be airlifted to safety after becoming stranded in their caravan, the Shropshire Star reported.
Others were forced to scramble 30ft up a steep slope to higher ground after wading through water up their chests. Around 1,000 local residents also had to flee their homes as the rain kept falling and water levels continued to rise.
Emily Nickless, 18, and her 17-year-old friend Leigh-Anne Wharton were rescued by helicopter after waking at 5am to find themselves trapped in their caravan by the rising water.
"When we opened the door, it was terrible. It was impossible to get out," Emily told the newspaper.
"We saw people on the cliff and we kept the door open because the water was still rising and if we closed it, we wouldn't have been able to open it again."
Meanwhile, in Pennal, Gwynedd, around 600 residents had to abandon their homes and were moved to a local leisure centre after the unprecedented rainfall threatened to break the dam of a local reservoir, potentially flooding the village half a mile below.
More than twice the amount of rain that usually falls in the whole of June fell in just 24 hours. The Met Office has now issued severe weather warnings across the UK, while the Environment Agency has put flood alerts in place in areas across the nation.
As much as three inches could fall over the next 24 hours as the downpours continue, forecasters have warned.
Riverside Caravan Park is the second site to fall victim to flash flooding this year, after Billing Aquadrome in Northamptonshire was flooding last month.
The floods come after a Government survey warned back in March that 28 per cent of the UK's caravan parks are at risk of flooding.