Terrible Floods at Carmarthen - Railway Service Suspended

The rains of the past few days have swollen the volume of water in the Towy to a, higher level than has been seen for a great number of years and that means a great deal to those who have seen the Carmarthenshire river in full flood.

The old seven-arched town bridge was covered to such a height that at one time the apex of neither of the arches could be seen. The valley, up and down, as far as the eye could reach was one sheet of water, streaked and dotted here and there with high hedges and isolated trees and sheds.

The Llangunnor and Pensarn roads, which are the only connecting links between the town and the country side in that direction, were submerged in several feet of water before dusk.

The quay and Towyside were also inundated, the occupants of some of the houses being up to their waists in their endeavours to remove their belongings to the upper rooms. Boats were actually plying on the Pensarn road, and were the means of rendering great assistance to the people of that village.

More serious still, the permanent ways of the Great Western Railway Company, and London and North Western Company, both above and below the town, were covered to a dangerous depth early in the evening, and all railway traffic had to be suspended. This was the unavoidable cause of very great inconvenience and distress to a large number of people, who had come to town on market business and had not returned by an early train.

It is feared that there has been a great loss sustained throughout the valley owing to the drifting and drowning of animals.

Passengers who had arrived at Carmarthen Junction had to be conveyed to the town in boats through Pensarn, and vice versa. When the waters had subsided a little it was ascertained that the metals on the down line between the two places had been undermined, and a gang of platelayers were at once put to work to remedy the damage. On Sunday morning the water had subsided to an appreciable degree, making it possible to walk along the metals.

About 50 yards of the masonry wall dividing the Llangunnor main road from the fields on the riverside have been completely demolished, and its restoration will mean a large outlay on the part of the county council, who less than two years ago were compelled to incur heavy expense on similar work at the same place. The grammar school boathouse on the opposite bank was utterly wrecked, but, fortunately, the boats were secured in time and carried to safety. About 10ft of water covered certain parts of the Pensarn road, and some of the houses were actually submerged over the doorposts.

Source - WEEKLY MAIL - JANUARY 28, 1899.

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