As well as responding to ongoing emergencies, recovery operations are ongoing in communities across Rhondda Cynon Taf following the damage and disruption caused by Storm Dennis, and the yellow weather warning which has seen further heavy rainfall overnight and into this morning.
The Council’s Major Incident Recovery Board today met for the second time this week and provided an update on the situation across the County which has seen an approximate combined 1,000 homes and businesses being significantly impacted by flooding. The Council has previously announced the release of £1m in reserves to support the recovery operation, and a further £500,000 has now been agreed to enhance this.
In response to the flooding, the Council has announced the creation of a Community Flood Recovery Grant – Hardship Payment, which is making £500 available to residents and £1,000 to eligible small and medium sized high street businesses affected by internal flooding from Storm Dennis. The Council has allocated these amounts as the loss of businesses could have a wider impact in terms of job losses.
Residents must notify the Council if they have been affected by internal flooding by completing the dedicated e-form. This will help inform the Council of your situation and also enable us to process both your application for financial assistance and free collections of household goods.
Residents and businesses can access the e-form here: https://forms.rctcbc.gov.uk/en/Web/floodingassistance/startnew
Staff, Senior Officers and Elected Members from the Council have been working around the clock since the weekend with support from contractors, partner organisations, Natural Resources Wales, neighbouring Local Authorities and the emergency services - with most of the affected areas now identified and seeing staff on-site.
In addition, a number of Council assets – including the Ty Glantaf depot, over 20 vehicles, and several bridges and structures including the M&S Bridge in Pontypridd and Castle Inn Bridge (Treforest) all suffering significant damage. The National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, has also been extensively damaged in the wider flooding of Ynysangharad War Memorial Park which remains closed for the foreseeable future.
At the meeting, a number of key developments were highlighted:
- The Council’s Contact Centre dealt with 533 weather-related contacts between 5pm yesterday (February 19) and 12pm today (February 20), with over 400 e-forms submitted.
- Currently supporting around 20 families into temporary accommodation and continuing to support families affected, including those who have been advised that they cannot stay in their own homes.
- 470 homes have been door-knocked by Council staff who are collating information and providing advice and assistance, and teams were deployed in Hirwaun, Bryncynon, Treorchy, Pontypridd, Blaenllechau, Ynysybwl and Pentre.
- Contacted all known affected businesses and have teams of staff out to assist with the completion of forms.
Leader of the Council and Chair of the Major Incident Recovery Board, Councillor Andrew Morgan, said: “The weather over the past five days has seen the County Borough face its biggest emergency since Rhondda Cynon Taf was formed, with unprecedented levels of damage to communities and businesses in all constituent areas.
“The sheer volume of rain saw Hirwaun and Maerdy record the highest levels in Wales. All three of our rivers – Rhondda, Cynon and Taff – also broke records, with some going back 41 years, and this contributed to a major incident being declared in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“Despite our best preparations, the enormity of the impact means that our resources are still being stretched to the limit in providing relief and support to both residents and businesses, with our staff and contractors working around the clock. I’d like to thank the efforts of all those involved in the recovery operation, and also thank local businesses and our communities who have pulled together and offered each other support in the most difficult of times.
“I have today been in discussions with the Leader of Cardiff Council asking for additional support in supplying staff, gully-emptying vehicles and road sweepers under our Mutual Aid Agreements.
“I have also agreed the release of a further £500,000 of emergency funds to support the ongoing immediate works across the County.
“With so many homes and businesses affected by internal flooding, we are urging all residents to let us know if you have been affected by filling in the dedicated e-form on the Council’s website – this will help us to build a comprehensive picture of the communities that have been impacted and will also enable us to provide funding to the eligible residents and businesses.
“The recovery operation is continuing to be an absolute priority for the Council and I’d like to thank residents for their cooperation whilst we continue to reach all of those who have suffered from the flooding.”
Posted on Thursday 20th February 2020