Montgomeryshire Senedd Member Russell George has raised the impact of floodings incidents in mid Wales and the management of Clywedog and Vyrnwy reservoirs with the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford MS
The MS outlined several flooding incidents in recent years, including the significant flooding that occurred last year across such as in Llandinam when people had to be evacuated from their homes and there was significant flooding disruption across other mid Wales communities.
Today (10th January 2023) there have been met office weather warnings across most of Powys, including in Welshpool and Newtown. A flood warning has also been issued for River Vyrnwy at Meifod.
Mr George outlined to the First Minister in the Senedd today (10th January 2023) that many rivers are currently overflowing with further flooding of low-lying land expected because of levels in the River Vyrnwy and the River Severn.
Speaking in the Senedd, Mr George asked the First Minister for an update on the work that the Welsh Government and National Resources Wales are involved with regards to enhancing the Clywedog dam to provide greater resilience.
Commenting, Mr George said:
‘’Many people are rightly anxious and fearful that their homes and land may be flooded when rivers are overflowing, and flood warnings are in place
It is hugely distressing when people’s homes are flooded, and I was glad that I had a further opportunity to again raise this issue with the First Minister.
It's also been my view, for many years, that the operating rules of both dams need to be changed to allow for greater capacity of storage in the winter months.
I also asked the First Minister to provide compensation for landowners who are affected by flooding.”
The First Minister responded to Mr George and said:
“The point the Member makes about the Vyrnwy and the Clywedog reservoirs is a really important one, because some people's concern, further downstream, is that water released from the reservoirs adds to the risk of flooding, particularly at points of high rainfall.
The Environment Agency is responsible for managing the releases and the water levels in those reservoirs, and it has been releasing water out of both reservoirs at the start of this year. Now, we have an assurance that they will be stepping back from that in the light of the weather forecast this week. But officials of the Welsh Government do remain in regular discussions with the Environment Agency about the operating arrangements it has for both reservoirs, and I'm very happy to make sure that the points made by the Member this afternoon are taken up further in those discussions.”
Mr George, added:
“I was pleased that the Welsh Government are working with National Resources Wales and in contact with The Environment Agency regarding the water level, but for over a decade I’ve been raising these concerns, and I believe government and environmental bodies need to prioritise examining the operating rules of the Clywedog and Vyrnwy dams.”