THE mayor of St Asaph has praised newly built river defences in the town after homes were flooded on Sunday afternoon.

Peter Scott said the £6m flood defences, funded by the Welsh Government and built by Natural Resources Wales in 2018, “did work” despite areas of the town being flooded during the heavy rain and strong winds caused by Storm Ciara.

Denbighshire County Council (DCC) issued a severe weather warning for the town and opened a rest centre at St Asaph Leisure Centre, which provided temporary shelter for 53 people who were evacuated from Llys y Felin, Mill Street and Spring Gardens caravan park.

The caravan park faced up to 4ft of water as residents were placed in overnight accommodation.

Cllr Scott said that without the defences, which were built in response to 400 properties being flooded in the town in 2012, “everywhere would have been flooded”.

“The flood defences did work,” Cllr Scott said. “I don’t think you can say the defences are to blame for directing water towards Lower Denbigh Road, it is just the way the water came up.

“Although the culvert there didn’t work as well as it should have, if there was this much rain in 2012 then everywhere would be flooded.

“There are some remedial measures that need to be carried out at the flood defences in Lower Denbigh.”

Cllr Scott also celebrated the “Dunkirk spirit” of residents who attempted to protect properties from damage.

He said about 100 residents were on the streets in Lower Denbigh attempting to sweep away floodwater and place sandbags outside the driveways of properties in affected areas.

DCC said its out of hours service was “inundated with calls for help” and called out additional staff for support.

A DCC spokesperson said: “The flood defence works prevented serious flooding. The issue was around the sheer amount of rain that had fallen, not only in Denbighshire but across the UK.”