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Joyce visits flood forecast centre

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flood forecastFOLLOWING the recent storms that battered the Pembrokeshire coast, AM Joyce Watson has been to see the Haverfordwest unit responsible for forecasting future floods.

Earlier this month, high tides combined with gale force winds and heavy rain to cause storm surges that breeched flood defences in many coastal areas. Mrs Watson this week met Andy Irving, team leader at Natural Resources Wales’ Haverfordwest base, to learn how local area forecasts help communities prepare for the worst.

Mrs Watson said: “At the height of the floods I knocked on doors in Fishguard, Newgale, Cardigan and Aberystwyth. While residents and businesses were understandably anxious, they were not caught off-guard.

“Through its free Floodline Warnings Direct service and community engagement projects, Natural Resources Wales has helped people prepare for the worst.

“NRW has visited all properties within flood warning areas since 2010. In Solva, for example, since the river flooding of October 2005, it has worked closely with the community to provided individual property protection to everyone who has asked for it. Residents and business owners can deploy non-permanent floodgates when a flood warning is issued – they have to be non-permanent because of National Park rules.

“Whilst these floods were severe, they were not exceptional – we must expect similar conditions in the coming years, perhaps weeks. Flood prevention works and forecasts are key to mitigating the damage.”

Floodline Warnings Direct provides free flood warnings by phone, text or email. It uses the latest technology to monitor rainfall, river levels, groundwater levels and sea conditions 24 hours a day.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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