AN environment watchdog will investigate why a caravan park was left submerged depite building a multi-million pound flood alleviation scheme.

Eighteen people from Spring Gardens caravan park had to be placed in overnight acccommodation as the River Elwy hit a peak level of five metres in the early evening.

The area was submerged and is now off limits because of health risks associated with the flood waters.

Denbighshire County Council (DCC) workers were due on site on Monday afternoon to pump the water out.

However Tom Williams, whose family has run Spring Gardens since 2006, was critical of the £6million defences which opened in June 2018.

He said a flood retention wall comes to an end before the site, leaving a bank as their only defence. But he said it is two feet lower than the opposite side.

He said: “This is the first time the defences have been tested and they have clearly failed. It’s worse than last time.

“I’ve called Natural Resources Wales, but had no reply from them. We have water works close to us, and the bank there is about two feet lower which means the flood water just exits at that point – into our caravan park.

“They should have continued the flood wall or built the bank up. We have 74 pitches and the site is off-limits at the moment because the water is contaminated.”

DCC said 53 people and four dogs used a temporary shelter provided by the council at St Asaph leisure centre, as residents of Mill Street and Llys y Felin were evacuated.

The rest centre was open from 5pm until 9pm, when residents were able to return home.

A DCC spokesperson said: “The council is still responding to the issues relating to the flooding from the weekend and our focus continues to be on the clear-up at this time.

“There will be a statutory investigation into the cause of the flooding incidents across the county, with Natural Resources Wales leading that piece of work. Staff from the council will be contributing and sharing their experiences.

“It will take some time before we know what caused the flooding at Glascoed. We cannot speculate on the causes until such time we have the information.”

Flood measures on the Glasdir Estate, Ruthin, held firm, while in Denbigh storm-forced winds approaching 80mph took part of the roof off the old Coleg Llandrillo building.

Brian Jones, DCC's cabinet member for environment, said: “The council’s teams worked tirelessly in appalling conditions to respond to flooding incidents and problems with fallen trees.

“Our out of hours service was inundated with calls for help and additional staff were called in for support.

“We also had teams working closely with the other key emergency services, as well as staff and volunteers from the local community assisting at the rest centre.

“They were able to provide safety to those at risk of flooding and provide them with warmth in a safe environment.”

Further weather warnings have been issued for snow, wind and rain over the coming days.