Hannah Blythyn has delivered a major boost to residents and businesses of St Asaph after officially opening a £6m flood alleviation scheme in the city.
On 27 November 2012, the River Elwy overtopped the existing defences affecting 320 properties, tragically claiming the life of Mrs Margaret Hughes, who lived in a retirement home near Mill Street.
Following the flooding, Natural Resources Wales commissioned an extensive study to fully investigate the flood risk and designed a scheme to reduce future risk.
The new flood scheme will reduce the risk of flooding from the River Elwy to 293 homes and 121 businesses including schools, retirement homes, sheltered accommodation, the local library, doctor’s surgery and fire station. The scheme will protect St Asaph from an event equivalent to the floods in 2012.
Infrastructure and recreational benefits will include new and wider footpaths, improvements to the ancient City Bridge and the installation of an “i beacon” Bluetooth transmitter.
The project also includes the installation of bird and bat boxes and the replacement of trees and hedges. Natural Resources Wales are planting more trees than were removed to build the scheme.
After officially opening the new scheme and unveiling a plaque, the Minister for Environment said:
Tim Jones, Natural Resources Wales’ Executive Director of Operations for North Wales, said:
“We all remember the serious flooding here in 2012, so this is an important scheme for St Asaph. Those events remind us of the real threat we face from flooding, which is likely to increase as our climate changes.
“I would like to thank Natural Resources Wales and their contractors for delivering this important scheme which is reducing the flood risk to 414 properties, including 293 homes.
“The scheme has been supported with £6 million from the Welsh Government. Earlier this year I also announced a £56m programme to strengthen Wales’ flood and coastal defences, helping build resilience in communities across Wales which face similar risks.”
“This scheme will make a real difference to people living and working in St Asaph who suffered such devastating flooding in November 2012 and have lived with the threat of flooding for many years.
"While we can’t always prevent flooding from happening, we have built a robust scheme for St Asaph that will significantly reduce the risk and provide effective, long-term peace of mind for people in the city.
"And the scheme’s environmental improvements and new recreation opportunities are a boost to everyone’s day-to-day life in the city as well.”