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Nearly £30,000 raised for flood-hit South Wales

UK News | Published:

Several online fundraising campaigns have been launched for residents affected by Storm Dennis in South Wales.

Flooding damage in South Wales

Fundraising appeals have been launched to help those affected by the severe flooding caused by Storm Dennis in South Wales.

In some of the worst-hit areas, people were evacuated from their homes by lifeboat and taken to emergency rescue centres after their properties and businesses were devastated by the storm.

Roads remain blocked by floods and landslips but Natural Resources Wales said the severe flood warnings have been downgraded to flood warnings.

Rachel Cox inspecting flood damage in her kitchen in Nantgarw (Ben Birchall/PA).
Rachel Cox inspecting flood damage in her kitchen in Nantgarw (Ben Birchall/PA)

Local businesses are collecting donations for people who have lost everything and more than a dozen online fundraising appeals have been launched – raising nearly £30,000 in less than 24 hours.

Taff’s Well rugby club opened its doors to offer hot showers, food and drink but since then has become a collection point for essential items, such as toiletries and bedding.

A local building firm was also dropping off a large amount of sand for residents needing sandbags in Treorchy and Pentre.

Residents brought shovels and brushes to help clear away flood water and mud from one street in Treorchy.

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Plaid Cymru AM Leanne Wood, who represents the Rhondda in the National Assembly for Wales, said: “The way communities in the Rhondda have pulled together, in adversity, to help those in need, has been absolutely astounding.”

And the Labour MP for the Rhondda, Chris Bryant, said: “Seeing the floods devastate our communities is truly heartbreaking.

“Homes and businesses across the Rhondda have been affected by the winds and rain of Storm Dennis and many families will have lost everything.

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“We’ve been inundated with offers of support and help. At present, the emergency services are advising volunteers to stay safe but will require support in the aftermath.”

The Welsh Hearts charity in Tonypandy is accepting clothes and bedding and the Plaid Cymru offices in Ystrad and Porth are collecting towels, tools and non-perishable food.

Meanwhile, the toogoodtowaste recycling charity in Rhondda Cynon Taf is collecting second-hand furniture.

One local business, Bragdy Twt Lol, also known as The Trefforest Brewery, has been forced to suspend production because of the floods, which have caused at least £10,000 damage.

Foodbanks at St Catherine’s Church in Pontypridd and St Luke’s Church in Rhydyfelin have opened to provide emergency food parcels – donated by local supermarkets – to the community.

Amanda Haydon-Hall, manager of Pontypridd Foodbank, said: “This is about community helping community. With all the support our local community has given the foodbank over the years, we’re keen to do our bit to help the people of Pontypridd recover from the aftermath of Storm Dennis.”

At Aberdare St Fagans, volunteers are providing hot meals to people without cooking facilities.

Father Richard Green said: “Every school holiday we run a lunch club which is aimed at families on low incomes who would normally benefit from free school meals in term time.

“But following Storm Dennis over the weekend, we have extended the invitation to anyone who has been flooded and is in need of a hot meal.

“We felt it’s one small way we can do something to help, and show the love of God to our community at a time of need.”

Winter weather Feb 17th 2020
Staff members cleaning in Nantgarw, South Wales, where residents are returning to their homes to survey and repair the damage in the aftermath of Storm Dennis (Ben Birchall/PA)

Father Michael Gable, from the Parish of Pontypridd, said: “Walking through Pontypridd town centre, there is a state of shock as people begin to assess the damage.

“Some businesses have escaped with very slight damage while others have lost their entire stock and equipment.

“Mill Street took the worst of the flood in town with businesses having nothing left. Owners are having to pick up everything and throw it into the skip, a devastating and soul-destroying task.

“There are homes too which have been flooded, and to have so many of your cherished possessions destroyed so quickly is heart-breaking.

“The community is pulling together and so much help is being offered, the foodbank is open for longer sessions, cafes are offering tea and coffee while the clean-up happens, and people are donating clothing.

“In the midst of such trauma, it is good to know we will support one another through this.”

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