FEW things can be more devastating - particularly just be-fore
Christmas - than to have one's home flooded: with the destruction
of treasured possessions, the long months of drying out and repair,
the worry of insurance, and the fear that it could happen again.
The recent floods were particularly severe in St
Asaph, when the River Elwy burst its banks.
The torrential rains, together with the full moon bringing high
tides had been too much for the flood defences, built after the
floods of 50 years ago. Some 400 houses were affected, and,
tragically, one elderly woman, who had been trying to get out of
her flooded home, was found dead.
The water was quickly pumped away, the diocesan communications
officer, Phil Topham, says, and the emergency and relief services
worked enormously hard, as did all the clergy. And now the reality
of the damage has hit home. There are people without insurance, or
those who lost it when banks changed hands, and there are those who
have nowhere to go and are living upstairs in their ruined
People were particularly appreciative when Prince Charles
visited the city, and showed real concern. He spent time with
people in their damp and devastated homes; he visited workers in
the fire service who had worked so hard to pump away the filthy
water; and in St Asaph Cathedral (above) he met victims of
the flooding, and some of the many volunteers and members of the
relief organisations, including the lifeboat men of the RNLI, the
Red Cross, and secondary-school children.
The Dean, the Very Revd Nigel Williams, said how pleased
everyone was that the Prince had visited. "He was with us in our
joy when we received city status, and now he has come alongside us
in our sorrow - this has made a vast difference to people of this
community. He's got a deep sense of concern for the individuals who
have been affected, especially the fact that these floods have gone
through people's homes. People are glad that he's been to the
affected areas and that has been very well received."
It is known that the Prince made a contribution to the Mayor's
relief fund, which the Church is also supporting.