Royal visit lifts flood city morale

The Prince of Wales has been praised for his "morale boosting" visit to victims of last month's devastating floods in St Asaph.

The tiny city, in Denbighshire, North Wales, was inundated last Tuesday when the River Elwy burst over flood defences following days of persistent rain which brought pockets of the country, south-west England and the Midlands to its knees.

Hundreds of properties were affected and many families have been forced out of their homes with little over three weeks until Christmas Day.

Charles offered his support to victims and thanked members of the emergency services for their help and hard work. He also had a private meeting with the family of great-grandmother Margaret Hughes, 91, who was found dead at her home in Tai'r Felin. An inquest, which was opened and adjourned last week, was told the provisional cause of death was drowning.

The Prince arrived at the Roe Parc estate and immediately began speaking to residents before meeting dignitaries including Mayor of St Asaph John Roberts. The estate still has debris, including mattresses, doors, refrigerators and tables, piled up outside flood-ravaged homes.

Charles was shown around the home of newlyweds Martin and Isla Jones.

Mr Jones, 40, said he told the Prince there had been more than 2ft (0.6m) of water throughout his house, and he thinks it could take around 12 months to fix and refurbish. He said: "He was asking what needs repairing, what can be kept. Basically everything has got to be thrown out."

Mr Jones also tested Charles on his geographical knowledge using his bespoke Ordnance Survey map of the Cairngorms. He said: "So I put him to the test to see if he could pick out any mountains. He did OK, I would give him nine out of 10."

Roy and Cynthia Evans, aged 93 and 83 respectively, said they were delighted with the Prince's visit to their street. Mr Evans said: "He was very caring and said he was going to come back and see us again later. That's the second time he's been to St Asaph in three months now."

Mrs Evans said: "It boosts morale. We were very pleased, we didn't think this would happen. He was very caring and down to earth."

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