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Flooding Feb 2020 banner.jpg
PA
Flooding Feb 2020.jpg
PA
UK News

Hot meals and listening ears: Churches open doors to flooded communities

by Marcus Jones

Churches in Wales have been rallying around those affected by floods caused by Storm Dennis.

More than 400 properties have been engulfed by water with the Environment Agency suggesting that figure is likely to rise.

Stories have been emerging of residents having to swim through their homes to rescue dogs and children being passed out of windows to safety.

The storm had winds of 90mph with more than a month's worth of rain falling within two days in some areas.

Major incidents have been declared in South Wales where a number of rivers burst their banks.

PA

The Church in Wales is reporting that a number of parishes have been supporting their communities.

Foodbanks at St Catherine's, Pontypridd and St Luke's, Rhydyfelin, opened their doors on Monday to provide emergency supplies to the community - with donations from local supermarkets. They are also offering hot drinks and a space to talk.

Amanda Haydon-Hall, manager of Pontypridd Foodbank said: "This is about community helping community. With all the support our local community has given the foodbank over the years, we're keen to do our bit to help the people of Pontypridd recover from the aftermath of Storm Dennis."

At Aberdare St Fagans, volunteers are providing hot meals to people without cooking facilities.

Father Richard Green, vicar of Aberdare St Fagans said: "Every school holiday we run a lunch club which is aimed at families on low incomes who would normally benefit from free school meals in term time. But following Storm Dennis over the weekend, we have extended the invitation to anyone who has been flooded and is in need of a hot meal. We felt it's one small way we can do something to help and show the love of God to our community at a time of need."

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Witnessing the devastation of Storm Dennis on the local community, Fr Michael Gable, lead team vicar of the parish of Pontypridd, said: "Walking through Pontypridd town centre there is a state of shock as people begin to assess the damage. Some businesses have escaped with very slight damage while others have lost their entire stock and equipment. Engineers are working to change the electricity supply from the flooded cellar to the ground floor in some properties.

"Mill Street took the worst of the flood in town with businesses having nothing left. Owners are having to pick up everything and throw it into the skip, a devastating and soul destroying task. There are homes too which have been flooded and to have so many of your cherished possessions destroyed so quickly is heart-breaking. The community is pulling together and so much help is being offered, the foodbank is open for longer sessions, cafes are offering tea and coffee while the clean-up happens and people are donating clothing."

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