THE ROOF of a block of flats in Tywyn, destroyed in gale-force winds of up to 90mph that left families temporarily homeless, is being fixed - but there is still “a long way to go” before they can move back in.
The roof was ripped off the block of three flats at Sherwood House in Tywyn on Friday, 18 February as Storm Eunice swept across the UK.
In all, 12 people and one young family from the block of flats had to take refuge in the town’s leisure centre - which was closed due to the storm.
Tywyn councillor Mike Stevens said that the repairs had been “slow to get going”, a delay that has been “very frustrating” for residents.
“The problem was before the new roof could be started the whole building had to have scaffolding put up all around the building to construct what is described as a “tin hat” to make the building water tight,” Cllr Stevens told the Cambrian News.
“It’s been very frustrating for the residents, who weeks after the storm damage was caused still had water coming into their homes when it rained.
“This prevented residents from doing any internal repairs, making some of the flats uninhabitable.
“Fortunately we were able to find long-term accommodation for those that needed it.”
He added “In my naivety I thought it was a straight forward, although specialist, skill to put up scaffolding.
“Because the whole building needed covering, however, an architect had to design the scaffolding plan. That then had to be assessed by a health and safety expert to ensure it was stable and robust to withstand any strong wind or gales that may hit Tywyn.
“The scaffolding design was approved last week and immediately the scaffolders started building.”
Recent good weather has been ideal for carrying out the work, as cllr Stevens explained.
“Fortunately, Tywyn was blessed with glorious spring weather, ideal conditions to do the job, but it has still taken a week of non-stop working to get the “tin hat” on.
“The remains of the old roof can now be removed for the new roof to be constructed.
“At the same time the water damaged flats need to be stripped and left to dry before internal repairs can be done.
“It has been an immensely stressful time for the residents and there is some way to go before they can move back into their homes, but at last we can see real progress being made.”
Back in February, at the height of the storm, the residents were removed safely from the building by Aberdyfi Fire & Rescue crews, along with the Gwynedd Council Emergency response team.
Those who had nowhere to stay with relatives or friends were placed in temporary accommodation.