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Frank’s furious force

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Storm Frank swept across Pembrokeshire on Wednesday (30 Dec) causing widespread damage and flooding whilst also leaving hundreds of homes without power. At 23.00 on Tuesday evening the Met Office warned of a risk of flooding to all coastal areas around the county as high tides combined with severe force 7-8 south westerly winds, but the disruption was not solely confined to coastal regions, with many area in land suffering from power cuts and floods. At 8am nearly 450 homes throughout the county were without power, with areas affected ranging from Tenby and Pembroke Dock in the south, through to Solva and St Davids in the north of the county.

By 10am power had been restored to all residents in Tenby, with other areas reconnected before midday by the engineers of Western Power, who battled against the fierce elements to restore the power supply in the areas affected. Due to the abhorrent sea conditions ferry services were hit hard, with Irish Ferries cancelling the 02:45 and 14:45 Wednesday (30 Dec) sailings from Pembroke Dock to Rosslare, with their services resuming with the 20:45 Rosslare to Pembroke Dock service. Stena Line announced the cancellation of its 02:30 service from Fishguard to Rosslare on the same day, but did resume sailing at 14:30 in the afternoon, deeming the conditions suitable for travel.

Photos showed the village of Amroth in south Pembrokeshire, which was so badly damaged by storms in January 2014, being hit by huge waves, but its newly built defences managed to repel what the storm served up this time around, whilst waves also battered the defences at nearby village Saundersfoot. Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service announced that their services had had a busy night, with two separate crews called out to similar incidents at petrol stations in Haverfordwest and Milford Haven. The Milford Haven crew removed a piece of sheet metal that had blown loose at the Tesco petrol station, whilst Haverfordwest’s unit dealt with an almost identical incident at the Ridgeway Garage on the Fishguard Road.

However a spokesman for the service said that Pembrokeshire had escaped the worst of the damage with fire crews called out to deal with far more incidents in Carmarthenshire. Despite this there was still considerable disruption on the roads around the county, with a fallen tree causing a problem on Crowhill Road in Haverfordwest, with the road partially blocked between the Cashfield Way and Sheltery Hill junctions. A fallen tree also caused queues on the A487 between Newport and Eglwyswrw, whilst there were delays due to fallen objects and flooding on the Capel Colman Road in Newchapel and on the B4331 between the A487 Castlemorris and A40 Letterston in the north of the county.

Readers sent their images of storm damage and flooding to The Herald, with one reader pointing out some deep flooding of the road from Rosemarket, past the Huntsman going towards Jordanston, with the water only passable by large 4×4 vehicles. A fallen telegraph pole also caused an obstruction on Sandy Hill Road in Saundersfoot, whilst there were numerous floods on the B4318 between Tenby and Carew, with traffic having to give way to allow safe passage through the deep gatherings of flood water.

Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said £1m would be made available for local authorities to carry out immediate repairs and maintenance to river and drainage systems, although the majority of the money would be spent in North Wales. With further heavy rainfall predicted throughout the week Natural Resources Wales have issued advice to people to be aware of further flooding. It is advising people to take care on the roads as driving conditions may be difficult and is also asking people to take care near fast-flowing and swollen rivers.

People are advised to keep an eye on local news and weather forecasts for news of any disruption in their area, and are reminded of the dangers of driving through floodwater. Following the floods, NRW teams are out checking that flood defences are in good working order and that rivers are clear of debris, which could restrict the flow of water. Donna Littlechild, NRW’s Duty Tactical Manager, said: “We’re asking people to take care and regularly view our flood alerts and warnings, updated every 15 minutes on our live flood warning map available on our website. “People can find out if they are at risk of flooding, or sign up for our free Flood Warning service, by visiting our website or calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

“Anyone driving should be particularly careful as there will be a lot of water on the roads.” Information and updates are also available via Natural Resources Wales’s twitter account: @ natreswales. The Met Office has also issued warnings and has encouraged people to read the advice on their website on what to do in severe weather, in particular flooding.

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Multi-agency response to house fire in Siskin Close, Haverfordwest

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FIRE crews are attending a domestic fire in a property on Siskin Close, Haverfordwest.

As of 11.45pm on Monday evening crews were still dampening down a fire which enfulfed two floors of a domestic property.

It is understood the alarm was raised after 10pm.

Our reporter on the scene said that there were four fire crews in attendance as well as three ambulances as well as police, who had set up a perimeter, controlling access to the scene.

A large number of local residents were watching on from a safe distance as the incident was being dealt with.

At the time of writing the street was blocked off to traffic with a large number of emergency vehicles parked up, all the way around the corner to the top of Harrier Road.

All of the emergency services have been contacted for a comment.

THIS STORY IS UPDATING

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Outdoor hospitality given go-ahead and rules on mixing outdoors relaxed in Wales

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SIX people will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday 24 April while outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26 April as cases of new COVID-19 infections continue to fall, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed today.

The current rule provides for up to six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) from a maximum of two households to meet outdoors.

The new rules from Saturday will allow six people (not including children under 11 years of age or carers) to meet outdoors.

People should observe social distancing from people from outside their household or support bubble when meeting others outside.

The rules for meeting indoors remain unchanged.

The First Minister has also confirmed outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April 2021.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “The public health context in Wales remains favourable, with cases falling and our vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength. Because meeting outdoors continues to be lower risk than meeting indoors, we are able to bring forward changes to allow any six people to meet outdoors.

“This will provide more opportunities for people, especially young people, to meet outdoors with their friends. This will undoubtedly have a significant positive impact on people’s wellbeing.

“I’m also pleased to confirm outdoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen from Monday 26th April.

“These changes will help the hospitality sector recover after a difficult twelve months.

“It is thanks to the continuing efforts of people across Wales we are able to introduce this change. Together, we will continue to keep Wales safe.”

On Friday (23rd April 2021), the First Minister will confirm further relaxations to the covid rules that will come into force on Monday 26 April 2021.

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Police ‘enforcement and engagement’ to curb anti-social behaviour in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby will be using enforcement and engagement in a bid to curb future incidents of anti-social behaviour, they said on Monday (Apr 17)

The announcement comes after Tenby was left with empty cans, broken bottles and fast food wrappers strewn everywhere, after over two hundred young people gathered to enjoy the weekend – perhaps expected whilst pubs remained closed.

Licensed establishment have not yet been able to open in Wales, but they are open in England for outdoor refreshments. They are opening on Monday.

There were reports of young people walking through the town with boxes full of alcohol, with other people buying takeaway drinks from licensed premises before making their way to the harbour.

The sheer number of people meant people were urinating in the streets, some residents told The Pembrokeshire Herald.

A Dyfed-Powys police spokesperson said: “With the continued easing of the regulations designed to keep us safe and the weather getting warmer we have seen an increase of people visiting and out and about in the Pembrokeshire area.
“While it’s great that people are now able to visit Pembrokeshire again, the behaviour of some placed additional pressure not only on the police but on the local authority as well.
“Tenby in particular attracted a large crowd on Saturday evening, April 18, resulting in anti-social behaviour, especially in the harbour area.

Chief Inspector Louise Harries said: “We recognise the concerns of residents and businesses after the anti-social behaviour seen in Tenby on Saturday evening. We are working with partners to avoid these issues re-occurring in the future.
“Police officers will be patrolling the area over the coming weeks and while the priority will be to engage with the public, enforcement action will be taken where necessary”
“We want to see people enjoying and the majority of people are doing so in accordance with the regulations, however the minority who don’t are spoiling it for others.
“We will continue to engage with our communities and visitors to the area to ensure that everyone enjoys in a safe manner.”

(Cover photo courtesy Pure West Radio)

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