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Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day. - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
heleninwales
heleninwales
Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day.
Today's trip to Prestatyn to see my Dad was rather more exciting than usual...

When we were kids in Manchester, we often used to chant, "Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day." (Some versions had "come again on washing day", but that didn't seem kind to overworked mothers!)

I think the people of NE Wales are definitely thinking this, even if they're not actually chanting it aloud.

Tuesday is the Welsh group. We rehearse our play in a village hall just outside Ruthin. There has been no flooding at home, so I didn't think much of the warnings on the radio at first. The first hint of serious problems was noting that the road into Corwen was closed due to the river having expanded across all the adjacent fields and threatening the main A5 road. That didn't matter because I wasn't going that way, but then I started to notice floods where I have never seen floods before during my 10 years commuting daily to Ruthin.

I arrived at the village hall OK and we did the rehearsal. The play is coming along quite nicely now and most of us mostly know our parts without the script, which means we can start to concentrate on adding a bit of emotion and movement. But as the session came to an end, I was rather dismayed to be told that the road north to Denbigh was closed and there was serious flooding around Abergele as well as the whole of St Asaph and parts of Ruthin. This was worrying because I wanted to make sure that my Dad was a) not affected by the weather and b) that the Tesco delivery had arrived OK, but I did seriously consider just going home at this point. However, I thought I'd see how far I could get and only give up if I was forced to.

Knowing Ruthin reasonably well, I went in a slightly different way, avoiding the by-pass and got through the town without any problems. By now I was listening to Radio Cymru (the Welsh language station), which told me that St Asaph high street was closed and the town was flooded. I still hadn't realised quite how flooded it was.

I decided to try a route that I found recently that skirts the town and avoids the steep and congested High Street. After travelling a little way, I came to a Road Closed sign. I was beginning to wonder whether it was going to be possible to get to Prestatyn at all, but as I drew up, the council worker standing by the sign said that the road was passable with care, but that I would have to avoid St Asaph and go left, via the Industrial Estate and Bodelwyddan. (This meant nothing to me, but I just hoped I'd manage to find some way through.)

So I continued on my normal route and, ignoring the advice to go left, because it looked passable, I went right and ended up where the TV reporter in the top clip is standing. By now, the water had gone down considerably, though the Co-op was still in the middle of a lake which had consumed the car park. I actually got to the bottom of the bridge where a fire engine was pumping water, but a police woman then told me that the road ahead was closed due to the roundabout under the A55 being totally flooded.

Resigned, I turned round at the mini-roundabout and somehow found my way through the industrial estate (much bigger than I imagined and hitherto completely unknown to me), onto the A55 and thence, via strange little back roads, to Rhuddlan. After that everything was totally normal. The road was fine. I arrived only a little late, had lunch with Dad, checked he was OK and then set off for home. I found a slightly different route back that also managed to avoid St Asaph and, by following signs, made my way back to the main road and the usual route home.

So that was my adventure for today and can I just say that I've had enough of torrential rain and floods? I had to fight my way through some of the heaviest rain I have ever experienced to get to my uncle's funeral last Thursday. I know we're used to rain here in Wales, but this is getting ridiculous. :(

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/73213.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]

Current Mood: tired tired and relived to be safely home

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Comments
pickledginger From: pickledginger Date: November 27th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you made it through -- and back again! -- but I'm afraid there's a lot more Weather ahead, the next few centuries. :-/
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: November 27th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you're looking over a longer time span, then the area has had much more severe weather than a bit of flooding. Not all that long ago (geologically speaking), it was all under glaciers. :)
pickledginger From: pickledginger Date: November 27th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hopefully, not in the near-term forecast!
aulus_poliutos From: aulus_poliutos Date: November 28th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, and before the place where I live was a sea, and then it got folded up.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: November 28th, 2012 09:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yes. The top of Cadair Idris was once under water (there are pillow lavas there) and much more recently (for geological values of recent), Wales lost a lot of land around the coast, the Cantre'r Gwaelod, the Lost Lowland Hundreds that feature in legend. It isn't just a legend though, it was a huge sea level rise at the end of the ice age. And none of that had anything to do with people, so I think we just have to accept that we live on a changing and unpredictable planet.
birdsedge From: birdsedge Date: November 27th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ouch! It looks horrible. Glad you were able to find a way round.

Edited at 2012-11-27 09:19 pm (UTC)
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: November 27th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thankfully, after working in the area for nearly 10 years, I know the names of a lot of the villages. This helps tremendously when you venture off the main road and are trying to navigate by road signs.
gillo From: gillo Date: November 27th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was quite some journey, considering the state of St Asaph. I know that route because I stayed in a hotel just south of the "city" when my mum was in Bodelwyddan hospital. I must say I had imagines there would be flooding below Rhuddlan castle too.

I have to say I hope the rain eases up soon. Mum has neighbours who have picked up a little bit of shopping for her, but sooner or later she's going to want to go out, and I worry.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: November 28th, 2012 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Thankfully it was relatively localised. I was worried about getting all the way to Rhuddlan and being turned back there, but though I think Abergele had been cut off at one point, the water had subsided considerably and Prestatyn itself had managed to maintain its magical microclimate and was absolutely fine.

Regarding the shopping, Tesco's online groceries and delivery service is proving invaluable. Dad had been increasingly relying on his stepson and wife, who live a few doors down the road, but he hadn't realised this was causing growing resentment. As soon as my brother and I realised what was happening, I took over food ordering. Dad tells me what he wants, I order it for him and it is delivered to his door. Then I check the contents of the fridge, freezer and cupboards on my weekly visit and adjust the next shopping list accordingly.

Despite the awful weather, the delivery arrived as per normal yesterday, so it seems pretty reliable. If Tesco don't deliver to where your mother lives, you could try Asda. There is also another food company that Brith's elderly owners use. They do ready meals that are a bit better than the usual supermarket ones.

Anyway, there has been no more rain and the forecast is for a period of drier colder weather, so I hope the emergency services and the council can sort out the mess the floods have left.
nutmeg3 From: nutmeg3 Date: November 28th, 2012 02:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Ugh. What a mess. Would you like our snow instead? *g*
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: November 28th, 2012 09:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Nooooo! Thankfully we get very little snow. When it's cold enough, the weather is usually coming from the east and thus the air is very clear and dry. Hence the saying, "It's too cold to snow," which looks nonsensical at first, but does work with the British weather patterns.
khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: November 28th, 2012 07:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you made it through okay!
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: November 28th, 2012 10:02 am (UTC) (Link)
If I'd known how bad it was, I'd have gone in the Daihatsu Fourtrak. It takes a lot to stop one of those! But I'm so used to the media exaggerating and getting all hysterical about the odd puddle in the road, that I went in the car as usual. Anyway, because it had stopped raining, the water levels were dropping rapidly, so it was OK.

I feel so sorry for the poor people whose houses have been flooded. Just before Christmas too. :(
readthisandweep From: readthisandweep Date: November 28th, 2012 08:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been thinking about you...

Yesterday, watching the lunchtime news (which I rarely do) I felt moved to tears. And that was before we heard the news about the elderly woman being found dead in her flooded house.

How can this happen? I can only imagine her neighbours were busy saving themselves.

And now look at the day! Who would guess? Don't suppose the people in north Wales could care less about the lovely sky. They will be wondering about insurance polices & red tape. And memories floating in the muddy wet of it all.

You did well. Stay safe. Stay at home!

heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: November 28th, 2012 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Thankfully it was fairly localised. We didn't even get our usual flood coming into the bottom of the garden and Prestatyn (where my Dad lives) had managed to maintain its magical microclimate and was absolutely fine. It was the bit between that had the problems.

I haven't yet heard what the elderly woman died of or even whether it was flood-related. It may have just been an unfortunate coincidence, though it could also have been something like a heart attack brought on by the stress of the situation.

I suppose the details may emerge later during the huge clear-up.
readthisandweep From: readthisandweep Date: November 28th, 2012 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
No - it isn't clear how the woman died. I just wondered how no-one realised an elderly woman might be vulnerable & possibly helpless. Even without the flood. And if it was stress-related due to the flood - the same.

Glad you are safe. :)
From: cmcmck Date: November 28th, 2012 08:46 am (UTC) (Link)
The hub's home turf up in Stirlingshire has also had it pretty bad with villages having to be evacuated.

Come Spring, I'd lay a modest wager that the water companies will be screaming 'water shortage' though!

Be safe!
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: November 28th, 2012 10:08 am (UTC) (Link)
The problem regarding water shortages is getting the water to the right place at the right time. Also the tendency of everyone to crowd down into the SE corner of England which is the driest part of the country.
From: cmcmck Date: November 28th, 2012 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
That said, it hasn't stopped raining here in Kent pretty much since they yelled: 'water shortage' back in March! :o/
endlessrarities From: endlessrarities Date: November 28th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm relieved to hear everyone's all right. I know parts of Wales are quite notorious for flooding, but that was cataclysmic. It's terribly sad to think of that poor elderly lady who died in her home.
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