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Villagers evacuated in dam alert
Hundreds more people have been evacuated from their homes in Wales in a new flooding alert - just as others were going home after being inundated on Saturday.
North Wales Police evacuated residents from the village of Pennal, near Machynlleth, Powys, following a slight breach in the dam of a local reservoir which caused a small amount of water to escape.
A police spokeswoman said residents were being transported to Machynlleth Leisure Centre. "Staff from the local councils, representatives from the local water board, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and officers from North Wales Police are at the scene working to stabilise the situation," she said. "At this current time it is thought that the breach may have been caused by a landslide."
Superintendent Andy Jenks-Gilbert said the evacuation was taking place as a precautionary measure. A crack had been found in a stone wall at the reservoir and a small amount of water had escaped, he said. "Should the wall be completely breached, the contents of the reservoir will go into the river which flows through the village of Pennal, which is around half a mile from the reservoir. Police officers are evacuating residents in the area and would ask visitors and locals to avoid the village at this current time."
The drama came as hundreds of people evacuated following flash flooding 20 miles away were returning to their homes and caravans. Villages in the county of Ceredigion were flooded by up to 5ft (1.5m) of water on Saturday. Some 150 residents and holidaymakers were rescued and evacuated from homes and caravan parks near Aberystwyth after twice as much rain fell in 24 hours as normally falls in the area in the whole of June. Police said the overall number who left their homes was nearer 1,000. Dyfed-Powys Police said three people needed treatment for minor injuries.
Weather experts said that 81mm (more than three inches) of rain fell in the 24 hours to 7am on Saturday at Trawscoed, Ceredigion, while some areas in that region would have had 150mm (more than six inches) over the same period. The average amount of rain for the whole month of June in that area is nearer 70mm (just under three inches).
The Environment Agency advised people to be alert for disruption from possible flooding across parts of northern England later today and southern England tonight and tomorrow. A spokesman said prolonged and heavy rain is forecast over parts of central-southern and south eastern England overnight and during tomorrow, bringing the possibility of river and surface water flooding. Because of the complex weather, there is still some uncertainty as to the locations most at risk, but the situation will continue to be closely monitored.
About 25 people from Pennal are being looked after at Machynlleth Leisure Centre, assistant manager Aled Davies said. He added: "The people are in good spirits. We are looking after them, they are having refreshments and watching TV. We are not sure how long they are going to stay here, we are taking each half hour as it comes. They will be able to stay all night if they need to, we have temporary beds. We have four or five people looking after them, local staff are helping, and we have offers of assistance from the local community."
Gwyn Jones, of North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, told the BBC a member of the public had called about his concerns over a reservoir on his land. The decision to evacuate the residents of Pennal was taken based on the volume of water involved in the reservoir itself and the heightened risk from rain and debris coming down and making it an unstable structure, he said. It was not man-made, but a derelict quarry with accumulated slate waste, which had formed a barrier for the water, which had built up over the years.
Firefighters were dealing with flooding in two areas of York and were delivering sandbags to the locations after more heavy rain in the area. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service sent three fire engines to Badger Hill and two to Boroughbridge. The fire service said they have already dealt with flooding in the Osbaldwick area of the city.