A desperate clean up has begun in Newport after homes and shops were devastated by flood water just 48-hours before Christmas.
Heavy rain has been causing damage across Wales with several areas including Newport, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan badly flooded.
A yellow weather warning for rain was in place throughout Wednesday until 2am on Christmas Eve. However, while Christmas day is set to be spared, a severe Amber weather warning of rain has been issued for Boxing day.
With his business already suffering due to a national lockdown, one man from Newport now faces the prospect that both his home and shop have been ravaged by floodwater just days before Christmas.
Nigel Merritt, 62, is the owner of Arnold’s Lighting & Electrical, Skinner Street, which has been a fixture in Newport city centre for 200 years.
As a result of the heavy rain, both his home in Llanwern Village and shop in Newport have been devastated by flooding. He said there was around 18 inches of filthy water in his home.
On Christmas Eve, Nigel was in his shop assessing the damage.
“We had flooding in our house as well. I live up in Llanwern Village. We had at least 18 inches through the house,” he said.
“I noticed that the road was filling up so went to move the car, while that was happening I had a phone call saying you better come down here to the shop.
“It was just totally everything bobbing around, everything falling over. When I got back up the house it started flooding up there as well then, it came into the house – we had to move the Christmas presents and everything upstairs as quick as we could.”
Despite his home being several inches underwater, Nigel rushed to his shop to try and salvage some items.
“I stayed for a few hours last night but the water wasn’t going down. I was fighting a losing battle. I thought I better wait until the water went down,” he said.
“I’m devastated. It’s double whammy. It’s Christmas Eve. Can it get any worse? It’s an absolute nightmare.”
Andrew Pring, 56, came down to the house of his mother, Mary Pring, 78, near Orchard Street late yesterday afternoon after he heard about the flooding.
His elderly mother suffers with asthma and despite living in the property for over 40 years has never experienced flooding like it. Andrew said several inches of water came through the bottom floor of his mother’s property.
“My mother has lived here 46 years and we have never seen it like this. She suffers with very bad asthma. She doesn’t need this in her life. I’m worried sick about her.
Andrew said the flooring had been completely destroyed in the flooding, but he did what he could to protect furniture and other items last night.
“My mother plays on her nerves,” he said.
“The only person I’m worried about. Right on top of Christmas as well. It’s hard enough this year with this virus. It’s so upsetting.”
Orchard Street and Margaret Avenue in Newport were some of the worst streets in the city to be affected.
On Thursday morning the water had been drained and residents were taking stock of damage and losses.
Si Burgess who lives on Orchard Street said both he and his neighbours tried to protect their houses from flooding using sandbags but water still came in through vents at the front and back of the property.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the street has been affected by flash flooding.
“It happened about 18 months or so ago. It wasn’t quite as bad. It didn’t get into the house.”
“We have had family down helping us because it’s an emergency. It’s about safety. One came down to get us a take away. We ate it here with the power off.
“I’m just glad it’s gone but we’re all the same down this street.”
Newport city centre has also been affected by the floods with many shops and businesses damaged by floodwater.
Johanna Davies, 52, recently began refurbishing a shop on Upper Dock Street, Newport, in the hope of opening a new branch of her florists.
“My landlord had £50,000 worth of work done in there, and I’ve had £8,000 worth done altogether already.
“We spent two and a half grand on the floor to varnish it and it’s all been taken up.
“It’s worse now than it was when we first came in here. If they don’t get the drains fixed then this is going to happen again.”
While it seems as though the heavy rain has finally subsided, this might not be the end as the met office have issued an amber warning for further rain from Boxing Day.
Find all the latest information on flooding across Wales here.