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Disaster fund for flooding victims
People left devastated by flash flooding in mid Wales are to be helped via a special disaster fund.
More than 1,500 people were evacuated and 150 rescued over the weekend after water up to five feet gushed through homes and businesses in Ceredigion, Powys and Gwynedd.
The clean up and insurance costs of the "freak deluge", in which a month of rainfall fell in just 24 hours, is expected to run into millions of pounds.
Ceredigion County Council leader Ellen ap Gwynn said many people who had "lost everything" were not insured, or were unable to get insurance for their riverside homes.
She said: "The last 48 hours have been horrendous.
"The bottom of Talybont was like a big lake. It has been once in a 100 year event.
"I think now the full scale of the damage and loss is beginning to sink in.
"That is why Ceredigion County Council is setting up a disaster fund to help those who won't receive a penny.
"The details are yet to be finalised, but I would urge the public to donate everything they can to help those who have lost everything."
Parts of Ceredigion were flooded by 5ft of water with record high river levels in parts on Saturday.
Just 24 hours earlier, a month's worth of rain fell at Trawsgoed, near Aberystwyth.
Caravan parks and villages near Aberystwyth were inundated by floodwater - leading to a multi-agency rescue team being assembled.
At its peak, more than 100 personnel from the RAF, police, fire service and RNLI were involved in the rescue efforts.
On Monday, tourists who had been staying in static caravans returned to their holiday homes to survey the damage.
Claire Brabbin, 41, who owns a caravan in The Riverside Holiday Park near Llandre, described watching Saturday's flood on TV while at their home in Burton-On-Trent as horrific.
She said: "We couldn't believe what were seeing. It didn't look recognisable.
"When we came back to examine the damage, the park looked like a war-zone.
"It is heartbreaking."
Other holiday home owners said they may be unable to return in the future.
Vir Aluwalia, 49, of Dudley, said: "Replacing a caravan is not like doing the same for a car.
"I'm worried we're only going to get a nominal fee via the insurance, which will not fully cover the caravan or its contents."
Residents in Pennal were also trying to get back to normality after Sunday's drama - which saw 600 people evacuated from their homes following a breach in a dam wall at a disused quarry.
A hole that would normally drain the water and release the pressure had been blocked by a landslide.
Emergency services, contractors and the landowner worked to create a permanent channel to slowly release the water.
Local man Shem ap Geraint said: "The evacuation was manic.
"The village had already suffered flood damage on Saturday."
But Gwyn Jones, of North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said the pressure on the reservoir was "immense" and public safety was "paramount".
"We managed to avert a very serious situation," he added.
Environment Agency Wales said it was continuing to provide flood alert updates online.
Three flood alerts remained in force in mid and west Wales on Monday afternoon.
Several roads remained closed, including the A487 Llandovey road from Derwenlas to Machynlleth; and the B4353 Dovey Bridge to Ynyslas.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said there was very little that could be done about extreme weather conditions, but said his government was spending £40 million on flood defences and coastal erosion over the next year.
He said: "The reality is you cannot prevent flooding at all times - especially when you get very, very unusual weather patterns such as we've seen over the few days in this particular part of Wales.
"Of course, the situation will have been examined. We'll talk to the Environment Agency to see what could be done to help boost the flood defences in the area in the future."
Local Government minister Carl Sargeant added the situation would have been "much worse", had recent flood defence work not been carried out in the area.
"I accept that is not going to come as much relief for the people who have been affected," he added.
Meanwhile, Welsh Conservatives leader and Mid Wales AM Andrew RT Davies paid tribute to all those involved in the rescue and clean-up operation.
He said: "Such strong community spirit in the face of such great adversity should be an inspiration to all.
"The stories of courage and bravery that have emerged over the weekend - both from those affected by the floods and from the emergency services - have been incredibly positive.
"But while we all hope this will be a once in a lifetime event for these particular communities, similar disasters have become increasingly common and it is incumbent upon the government to take steps to alleviate the causes.
"While measures to prevent coastal flooding remain crucial, similar importance should also be placed on the threat posed by inland waterways.
"Lessons must be learned and the monitoring of rivers reviewed.
"It is also timely for ministers to look very closely at development on land prone to flooding and consider the introduction of policy to put an end to this practice."