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Back home... but flooding fears go on

Published date: 27 February 2013 |
Published by: Helen Davies
Read more articles by Helen Davies


 

This week some of the residents affected by the catastrophic floods that hit the Glasdir estate in Ruthin last November moved back into their homes.

Helen Davies spoke to Katy Morgan Williams about her hopes and fears now she has returned.

 

ON the face of it, life seems to be getting back to normal on the Glasdir estate.

The dozens of young families whose new homes were flooded on the morning of November 27 are gradually starting to return to their homes following weeks spent in temporary accommodation.

But residents still do not to know what caused the flood – and every time it rains they are terrified the events of that day will be repeated.

I met Katy Morgan Williams, a mum of two 17-month-old twins who has vivid memories of that morning almost three months ago.

“It’s like when anything bad happens, you bring the shutters down and go into autopilot,” she recalls.

“I looked out of the window and it was just coming along the path closer and closer. We were woken up about 7.40am and by 8.10am it was coming in.

“I knew I had to get the kids sorted and out.”

In a cruel twist to their flooding tale, Katy and her husband had been looking to sell their house on the Glasdir estate. “We had our house valued on the Monday and it flooded on the Tuesday,” she says.

“We’d found somewhere we liked and had a second viewing arranged for the Wednesday and a mortgage appointment on the Friday.”

Now the family have accepted they won’t be selling anytime soon. They moved back last Saturday following weeks spent in a holiday let in the area.

“It’s great to be back and in your own house, but every time it rains you think it’s going to happen again,” says Katy.

This is a sentiment the 34-year-old says is echoed by others living at Glasdir.

“Until we know why it happened and who is responsible we’re not going to be able to rest.

“People are going out in their pyjamas in the middle of the night to look at the river levels. It’s not the way you want to live your life.”

A report by the Environment Agency into what happened at Glasdir was released last December and put the blame at the door of Denbighshire County Council by saying culverts at the site were left 85 per cent blocked ahead of the flooding.

But the council was not convinced by this and decided to commission an independent inquiry into what happened, the outcome of which is due to be released in May.

One of the questions residents want answers to is why the estate was given planning permission in the first place.

“We didn’t buy a new house to be flooded,” says Katy, who is studying for a PGCE at Glyndwr University.

Katy’s twins had their sleep patterns disrupted by moving out after the flooding, but were too young to realise exactly what was happening.

But for older children the affects have been harsher.

“I’ve heard reports of kids having dreams that water’s coming into the house and others of children asking ‘which house are we going to today mummy?' because they’d been moving round so much,” says Katy.

“As a committee we’re keeping an eye on the effect it’s having on people in terms of the fear of it happening again and the realisation of what happened.”

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