Swiftwater rescuers from Ogwen Valley MRO survey the scene in Llanrwst. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

Swiftwater rescuers from Ogwen Valley MRO survey the scene in Llanrwst. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

Mountain rescue teams in north Wales were in action over the weekend as Storm Ciara caused problems for residents and visitors in the area.

Volunteers dealt with people hit by flooding across the district, but were also called out to walkers in need of help on the Snowdonia mountains.

Chris Lloyd of the North Wales Mountain Rescue Association said, fortunately, on the mountains people had taken heed of Saturday’s poor forecast and most had made their way off by lunchtime. “However, a woman was blown over twice whilst walking down the Llanberis path on Snowdon,” he said.

She suffered a leg injury and had to be stretchered from the mountain by the Llanberis and the RAF Mountain Rescue Service teams.

Mr Lloyd said: “During that operation, Ogwen team were called to two men who had split from their large family group on the Glyders. In strong winds and sometimes low cloud, they found themselves on steep rocky ground by the shore of Marchlyn Mawr, the upper reservoir of the Llanberis hydroelectric scheme.

“Four members battled with strong gusting winds to locate and bring the two to safety in the early Saturday evening.”

Mr Lloyd said, early on Sunday morning, mountain rescue team leaders sitting at silver command alongside the professional emergency services were soon asked to respond to flash floods in a remote village on the Denbigh Moors.

North East Wales Search and Rescue responded with their swiftwater rescue team and 4×4 vehicles to help residents marooned in their homes and a stranded milk tanker driver.

Rescuers from several organisations went into action in St Asaph. Photo: North Wales MRA

Rescuers from several organisations went into action in St Asaph. Photo: North Wales MRA

As this operation was underway, the Ogwen Valley team was sent to the market town of Llanrwst in the Conwy Valley. Mr Lloyd said: “With many major roads in the area being blocked by floods, fallen trees and even a landslide, access to the town was not easy.

“A blocked culvert resulted in devastation in the town centre. Cars were heaped on top of each other in the supermarket car park. Team members were asked to carry out welfare checks and assist with evacuation of residents.”

Other mountain rescue teams were asked to put their swiftwater rescue members and equipment on standby. By late morning, reports were coming in of flooding in the cathedral city of St Asaph. Initially, there was concern for livestock, but as the river overtopped flood defences in the town, soon homes and a caravan park were under water.

Working alongside the Royal National Lifeboat Institution flood rescue team, members of Newsar and the Ogwen Valley team helped with the evacuation of properties. They worked until the evening when with the aid of the ebbing tide, the level of the river dropped.

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