Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

27 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM INi PONTYPOOL.

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM IN PONTYPOOL. ALARMING FLOODS. On Sunday afternoon last, a storm of unprece- dented violence passed over Pontypool, and caused considerable damage. The thunder and lightning which accompanied it were sufficient evidence, without the corroborative testimony we have, that the storm was very partial and descended upon this neighbourhood with much greater severity than Upon any other. The rain fell in a rapid torrent, enough, indeed, to give one the idea that a second deluge had come. Houses and streets alike were flowing with water, and many inhabitants suffered considerable inconvenience. In the slaughter- house of Mr Wm. Williams, in George Street, a man-hole was burst up by the extreme pressure of the water in a culvert which passes beneath it from the road by the Catholic Church, and the Water poured like a cataract through the door (which fortunately happened to be open, or the wall Would have given way), to the lower ground, where being met by Mr Eckersley's garden wall, it was turned along a short piece of road, flooding the lower parts of the houses on its way, to the brewery belonging to Mr S. Lupton, which was perfectly deluged, above five feet of water accu- mulating in the brew-house, stable, and other por- tions of the premises, when the side-wall of one of the buildings gave way, bringing the roof with it, and the released water rushed past Mr Pegler's stable, to the new road between Pontnewynydd and Pontypool, and this for the time became knee- deep with water. A valuable horse was nearly drowned in the brewery stable, but was saved by the haulier at great personal risk; and no less than 50 barrels of beer were washed out of the building and their contents wasted. The damage in this particular instance alone is estimated at not less than JE400. The brewery afterwards pre- sented the appearance of a complete wreck, and the space between it and the road was covered With the large stones from the wall, which had been carried down by the violence of the flood. The storm was, fortunately, as might be expected from its extreme violence, of brief duration; but the excitement which prevailed was intense. The New Road was like a river; houses were filled with Water in their lower regions; and, in the minds of some, a positive belief existed that they were going to experience a second deluge. Consternation was for the time the prevailing feeling, and hundreds assembled at the spot where the principal damage occurred. Meanwhile the flow of water from the culvert which had burst increased, the road be- came altogether impassable, and articles of domes- tic usage were to be seen floating down in all di- rections. Fowls also were swept away from their coops, and the inhabitants of houses in the neigh- bourhood found their habitations suddenly flooded. The Surveyor to the Local Board (Mr E. Stephens) aided by Police-sergeant Basham, were soon on the New Road, and having obtained the services of a number of workmen, diverted the course of the Water towards the river. Other property in dif- ferent parts of the town also suffered considerably. The lower premises of Mr F. Perry, George St., and those of Messrs P. Feiling, S. Little, and E. Hutchings were completely submerged. The cellar of the Unicorn Inn, kept by Mr Ellis, on the Al- bion Road, were also inundated. The flannel fac- tory at Pontnewynydd was flooded, and the water in the Afon Llwyd reached a height which gave signs of its overflowing. In the low lying parts of the town it occasioned damage, anxiety, and great inconvenience, cellars, and even sitting rooms being flooded. The road from Pontnewynydd towards the river bridge was flooded, and quite impassable, so that for the re- mainder of the day persons who passed that way had to walk on the wide river wall. Such a storm, so sudden in its outbreak and so violent in its cha- racter, has never been known in this neighbour- hood, where the roads are in many places literally torn up. From the first thunder-clap to the last drop of rain, scarcely three-quarters of an hour lapsed-the great violence of the rainfall lasting only about fifteen or twenty minutes, and yet during that short time so great a quantity of rain foil as to cause floods, not only in the natural Watercourses, but also on every declivity. Had the rain—or we might say the water, for the downpour resembled that from a wa.tering-pot rather than raindrops—continued to fall for only a few hours as it did for the first few minutes, the consequences would have been most disastrous. The culvert which burst in the slaughter-house came down from the steep road by the Catholic Church, and passes under the main road, the houses on the opposite side, the railway, Malthouse Lane, and other houses there. A considerable quantity of water passes down it at ordinary times, but such a flood as this wa.s calculated to try its cupae.i+i^cf f,r» fhe '1'1. flow, of a,ujr 111 the culvert also greatly augmented by the drainage of the sloping ground between the old Pontnewynydd road and the Monmouthshire Co/s new railway to Talywain, extending from Hill Grove, the residence of Mr Fowler, to Wain- felin. The water from the ground flowed towards the town along a ditch by the side of the railway, ran into the culvert at a grating under the hIgh wall above the bridge. The gradient of the culvert is exceedingly steep from the wall of the Catholic Church to the slaughter-house, and if the culvert is here, as we judged it was, continued with much leod fall, it would of necessity follow that the water, which had previously acquired im- mense velocity, must have received such a sudden check as to force it upward through the floor of the slaughter-house. The water had burst through r Eckersley's garden path before it came up in the slaughter-house. Accumulations of water took Place at several spots—a very large one was at Wainfelin under the railway bridge, another at the Pontnewynydd end of the new road, another on the Monmouthshire Railway by the George- street bridge, and others in various places. After the storm had exhausted itself, the atmosphere brightened, and the evening was fine, with a cool, hut refreshing breeze. From the peculiarly sudden violence of the storm, it has been supposed by some to have been due to the bursting of a waterspout; but this we think quite unlikely, as the area over which the rain fell is too widespread for that hypothesis. The Ulost probable cause, we think, was electricity in the atmosphere.

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