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Downpours leave the West awash; VILLAGES CUT OFF AND PEOPLE RESCUED AS FLOODS STRIKE.

Byline: SION MORGAN

PEOPLE had to be rescued from their homes after properties and roads were flooded by heavy downpours across western parts of the UK.

The worst of the chaos was in Cornwall, where several villages were badly affected, while in Wales, fire crews were called out to a series of incidents of flooding in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen.

The Mid and West Wales service said its crews had been called to seven properties in the Pembroke Dock area at 5.50am yesterday.

A spokesman said: "We got a call out to Llangwm near Neyland, after a few cars got stuck in flood water, with reports of people in the vehicles. By the time we arrived, police had also attended and a passerby had already pulled those people out safely."

Crews also helped pump out houses at Crundale, Haverfordwest.

The fire service said council highways officials had also been dealing with problems with surface water on a number of roads in the county, at Milford Haven, Goodwick and at Fishguard.

Sandbags were distributed at riverside properties at Llangennech, near Llanelli, Carmarthenshire.

But the fire service said incidents were "isolated" and mostly minor.

The latest autumn storms come six days after residents in South Wales found themselves battling against strong winds.

Severe gales spread across the region last week, with the strongest gusts recorded at 55mph at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Stephen Ellison, a meteorologist with MeteoGroup said more heavy showers and strong winds could be expected in the coming days.

"The rainfall was as a result of an occlusion moving from the west associated with an area of low pressure to the west of Ireland," he said.

"The rain band will continue to move east across much of the country but weaken significantly as it does so, with the rain easing. Following the occlusion, gusts of 55-65mph are possible around western coasts of England and Wales, together with western Scotland. There is also a chance of some heavy showers following too."

Traffic Wales, the Assembly Government's traffic information service warned drivers to take extra care.

Speed restrictions were put in place between Junction 41 Pentyla and Junction 49 Pont Abraham on the M4 as well as Junction 29 Castleton to Junction 37 Pyle because of spray on the road.

An alert was also issued on the A470 between Coryton and Abercynon due to hazardous conditions.

Meanwhile the Ebbw Valley rail line was closed for nearly an hour on Wednesday morning after flooding near Newbridge.

Network Rail engineers were called to tackle the problem, caused by a blocked manhole, at 10.10am.

However, those affected on the Welsh coast can count themselves lucky after the worst of the rain hit further south.

Cardinham, near Bodmin, in Cornwall recorded 18.8mm (3/4in) of rain in one hour and 50mm (2in) in nine hours.

The rain and flooding caused serious disruption to several parts of the county. Some main roads closed, a landslip at Lostwithiel stopped train services in and out of Cornwall and some schools were shut.

Bodmin, St Austell, Par, Luxulyan, Lostwithiel, St Blazey and St Blazey Gate were badly affected and in Portloe an empty car was swept into the harbour.

The heavy rainfall overnight continued to cause serious problems throughout the day due to flooding of roads and people's homes, police said.

People were left trapped in their cars and homes in the worst affected areas where water was 4ft deep yesterday afternoon.

Main roads were closed, landslips disrupted train services in and out of Cornwall and a number of schools were shut.

There were no reports of serious injuries, but people are continuing to be advised against travelling.

Prime Minister David Cameron praised the county's emergency services, and said the Government would do all it could to help people affected.

"I think the emergency services, the police, the coastguard, the fire services, fire and rescue - they've been working round the clock and they've done a fantastic job," he said.

"We have said that we stand ready to help in any way that we can.

"We have to remember that when the floodwaters actually start to recede, that's when many of the biggest problems arise over insurance and getting people back into their homes."

CAPTION(S):

Children make the most of the fun to be had at St Blazey, Cornwall where flooding cut the village off - while others pondered the cost of the damage A nearhorizontal wind sock graphically emphasises the danger from high winds in tricky driving conditions on the M4 at Margam A driver braves the aptly named Marsh Road in Gowerton near Swansea Workmen try to clear a drain at St Blazey, Cornwall. Cardinham, near Bodmin, had 3/4in of rain in an hour
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 18, 2010
Words:792
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