Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies has provided more detail on the scope of the review into recent flood events.
The Minister said that the review, to be led by Natural Resources Wales, will look at the flood events that hit Wales both at the beginning of December and again at the beginning of January, and will cover all coastal authorities in Wales.
The Minister also explained that the review would be carried out in two phases. The first phase, to be completed by the end of January 2014, will be a swift review of the impacts of the flood events and will assess the state of Wales’ coastal defences following the recent storms.
The second phase will look into the wider lessons learnt from the December and January flood events and the flood risk management in the affected areas. The intention, subject to further incidents of flooding, is that a report on the second phase will be available by April 2014.
The Minister said that while these reports were needed as soon as possible, the immediate focus for local authorities would remain on the clean up operation and recovery.
Alun Davies said: “Last week we saw some of the worst conditions that Wales has experienced in over 20 years and my sympathies are very much with those affected.
“The emergency services and others acted swiftly with their response which undoubtedly saved lives and I would like to thank Natural Resources Wales, Local Authorities, the Fire and Rescue Service, the Police, the RNLI and other agencies for their efforts in warning and evacuating those at risk and for their continued and ongoing work.
“The storms have severely tested our coastal defences but this is an event that could have been much worse.
“My officials are continuing to work closely with local authorities and Natural Resources Wales on how we can assist in the aftermath of the floods, and I am encouraging affected local authorities to contact Welsh Government officials on grant funding for emergency works required to restore damaged defences.
“We are now looking at how we prioritise future investment in flood defences so we can not only protect homes and businesses but also maximise opportunities for economic regeneration and growth in the long term.”
Emyr Roberts, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales, said: “We sympathise with the people who suffered during the major storms which affected much of the Wales coast.
We have already completed emergency repair work on many of our sea defences where this has been possible. However in some places, repairs will take much longer."