Flood prevention in Wales should be national priority

Flood prevention in Wales should be national priority

Nowhere near enough money is being invested in flood prevention in Wales, the leader of Plaid Cymru has said.

Twenty-seven flood warnings were issued for Wales over the weekend, leading to homes being evacuated.

Adam Price said the “severity and frequency” of flooding events “should convince us all that flooding needs to become a strategic national priority.”

The Welsh Government said it had invested more than £390m to manage flood risk in the past five years.

In an interview with BBC Radio Cymru’s Dros Frecwast, Mr Price said: “On the evidence of the last few days, once again, the fact that the severity and the frequency of these flooding events should I think convince all of us that flooding needs to become a strategic national priority.

“And in particular, we are investing nowhere near what is necessary to provide the level of resilience that is required to our communities.

“We need urgency in terms of getting from where we are where we are now to providing the level of investment that for example the National Infrastructure Commission has recommended.”

Welsh Conservative member of the Senedd (MS) Janet Finch-Saunders said: “Once again Wales is being hit by flooding, with people’s homes and businesses being devastated, and yet very little has happened since the major floods last year to prevent or reduce their impact.

“The Welsh Government has had responsibility to protect communities from flooding for 20 years and yet year after year communities continue to be blighted.

“We need action not words to prevent flooding in the future.”

Their calls come after 5in (127.6mm) of rain fell at Llyn-y-Fan, Carmarthenshire, between 06:00 on Friday and 08:00 on Saturday, and 4.5in (115mm) at Treherbert in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

That compares to an average rainfall of 3.9in (98mm) for the whole of February in south Wales.

One year ago, communities across the south Wales valleys were devastated by floods caused by Storm Dennis.

The Welsh Government said: “We know major flooding incidents are devastating for communities.

“Between 2016 and 2021, Welsh Government invested more than £390m in helping manage flood risk.”

It said it would “continue to pro-actively manage and respond to flood risk across Wales” in line with its new National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management.

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