Storm Pierrick wreaked havoc across North Wales, causing road closures, train delays, stranding drivers and isolating a community. The transport networks in the region were severely affected by high winds and flooding. Roads were shut down, seafronts were inundated and a railway line was closed due to damage.

People had to be rescued from their vehicles and fire crews were deployed to evacuate residents from a vulnerable stretch of the North Wales coastline. Although a quieter night is anticipated, Natural Resources Wales has warned that the effects of the storm may still be felt on Wednesday as more rain is expected.

A lane on the A55 near Conwy Morfa was closed when the carriageway was partially flooded, and the entire eastbound carriageway near Chester was temporarily closed, resulting in traffic chaos. The A5 near Capel Curig was partially flooded until mid-afternoon, while the A548 between Llanfairtalhaiarn and Llangernyw was impassable in both directions for most of the day.

Some of the worst flooding was observed on Llanfairfechan promenade, where towering waves battered the seafront. Some of the most severe damage was seen on Craig y Don promenade, Llandudno, which was left strewn with rocks and boulders thrown by the waves, reports North Wales Live.

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Prom play areas and skate parks in these two resorts, as well as Penmaenmawr, have been closed by Conwy Council. The Conwy Valley railway also took a hit, with Network Rail being forced to shut down the line and issue an apology after the Afon Conwy burst its banks, washing away ballast from beneath the tracks. Replacement bus services are now operating between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Rail commuters faced further disruptions as buses were pressed into service from Chester and Bangor due to suspended rail services, while Transport for Wales reported delays of around 10 minutes on trains running between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth because of floodwaters.

In Flintshire, a partially fallen tree on the B5125 Glynne Way near Hawarden added to the traffic woes, compounded by flooding on adjacent roads. The resulting "traffic chaos" prompted residents to voice their frustrations on social media platforms.

Cars marooned on Llanfairfechan seafront
Mountainous waves lashed Llanfairfechan seafront and left the promenade under water during Storm Pierrick on April 9, 2024. Picture: Chris Owen

Earlier today, emergency services from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service rescued three individuals trapped by rising waters a woman in Shore Road, Llanfairfechan, a man in Acrefair, Wrexham, and another woman in Llafynydd, Flintshire. There was also a standby alert for potential evacuations at Sandy Bay, a Kinmel Bay community known for its vulnerability to flooding.

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Despite concerted efforts by the council to manage the situation in Kinmel Bay by pumping water from the promenade, seawater breached the defences, spilling into Golden Sands Holiday Park and affecting Sandy Bay. It is estimated that between 10 and 20 properties were isolated by the flood, but it appears that no evacuations were necessary.

Towyn and Kinmel Bay Town councillor Barry Griffiths, who experienced flooding in his own home back in 1990, shared: "I believe that no water actually entered properties it just stopped short of floor levels."

He added: "I went out in my wellies and didn't know if my next step would leave me up to my armpits. When this community was built almost 100 years ago, the construction firm went bust before the infrastructure was completed there are no drains and the road is crumbling."

Cllr Griffiths also observed: "I couldn't see anyone leaving their homes for the night, though some people were getting in their cars and driving away from Golden Sands, which was sensible. This all happened around midday the worry is now what will happen tonight."

Flooded homes in Sandy Bay, Kinmel Bay
Floods in Kinmel Bay, Conwy on April 9, 2024, during Storm Pierrick. Pictured, flooded homes in Sandy Bay. Picture: Barry Griffiths

He expressed concern about the potential for further issues: "The tide will not be as high but a shift in the wind direction or a change in atmospheric pressure could still cause flooding. A lot of residents are elderly and live in single-story accommodation, so they have nowhere higher to go if their homes flood."

Highlighting the urgency for improved coastal defences, cllr Griffith said: "Flooding is a long shadow that hangs over Sandy Bay," and warned of the consequences even a small amount of water can have: "Even if people get an inch of water in their homes, for just half-and-hour, it could mean a year in temporary accommodation and dealing with insurance adjustors."

A scheme to bolster the coastal defences in Kinmel Bay is set to commence soon, and according to Cllr Griffith, it's not a moment too soon.

The impact of the storm, in combination with unusually high tides, was more substantial than that of Storm Kathleen over the weekend. Along the North Wales coast, six flood warnings were implemented and individuals were "strongly advised" to steer clear of seafronts or face being "swept away".

After floodwaters receded, fire departments were put on stand down, but are bracing themselves for another action packed day on Wednesday (April 10).

Water levels rise perilously close to the level of the Foryd Bridge in Rhyl - known locally as the Blue Bridge
Water levels rise perilously close to the level of the Foryd Bridge in Rhyl - known locally as the Blue Bridge

Mike Owen, NWFRS head of emergency response said:: "Plans are in place to prepare our water assets in case of similar conditions tomorrow. We'd appeal to members of the public to work with us by staying away from fast-flowing watercourses and not driving through flooded roads."

Just one flood warning, necessitating immediate action, is currently enforced in Wales this on the River Towy at Carmarthen Quay, South Wales. Nevertheless, several lower intensity flood alerts have been highlighted for tomorrow, with a particular emphasis on rivers and estuaries in Gwynedd, Powys and northeast Wales.

As river levels are foreseen to be above average, flooding of low-lying land and roads is "expected" in the subsequent locations.

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