Council await price to fix landslip at Newbridge with possible £500k-£1m cost
Damage caused to Wrexham communities during last month’s flooding could cost as much as £2m to repair, a senior councillor has revealed.
Dozens of homes in the county borough had to be evacuated during Storm Christoph as torrential downpours caused water to enter people’s properties.
Residents in Bangor-on-Dee, New Broughton, Pontfadog and Rossett were all impacted by the bad weather, with Welsh Government support payments pending.
However, the biggest repair bill is expected to arise as a result of a landslide in Newbridge, which caused a section of footpath to collapse down an embankment.
Wrexham Council’s deputy leader David A Bithell has called for ministers to keep to their promise to provide money to cover the costs.
He said: “Officers are going through about 150 cases so far and some properties have been flooded internally.
“Clearly one of the big issues that we’ve got is down in Newbridge, where the embankment has slipped.
“We’ve had some initial feedback from the geotechnical engineer to say there is a big problem down there.
“We’re waiting for the consultant’s report but that could run into half a million, seven hundred thousand or it could be a million pounds, nobody really knows until we get the estimates for that.”
He added: “The best estimate is it’s going to be well over a £1m and it could be £2m in damages caused by the recent floods.
“We’re hopeful that the Welsh Government are going to honour their commitment to the council when they said that there is money available.”
A major incident was declared in Bangor-on-Dee in the early hours of January 21 as water levels in the River Dee reached a record high.
It led to emergency services and other agencies working through the night to evacuate residents using 4×4 vehicles.
The council’s chief executive Ian Bancroft said the amount of rain witnessed had been unprecedented, but work was being carried out to fully understand the cause of the flooding.
He added that officials were also looking at measures to prevent future flooding as climate change makes further incidents more likely.
He said: “I think the really important thing to remember is historically the River Dee was at its highest level ever as a result of the rainfall that we had.
“That put pressure on places that you wouldn’t expect as the river was right at the top of the riverbank in Bangor-on-Dee and we’d never seen flooding in New Broughton in the place where we had flooding.
“Given changes to the climate, we have to have a concern that it may not be as irregular for that type of incident as it has been in the past.
“We have to make sure that we are planning properly for the future in light of the climate changes that we’re facing.”
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter
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