Parts of Rhondda Cynon Taf were covered by floodwater that also caused a school closure and major transport issues.
Fortunately, the nightmare scenario was not really, but formed part of a multi-agency exercise to test the skills of those who respond at the frontline.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, South Wales Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Environment Agency and St John’s Ambulance Service were among those who took part in the exercise at Hawthorn Leisure Centre.
Local residents and schoolchildren were also involved in the day to ensure it was as realistic as possible, putting officers through their paces and testing their response to floods and associated problems such as evacuations of homes, traffic congestion, public transport failure and even power cuts.
This included the live evacuation of a primary school and the creation of a safe, rest centre for those who were forced to leave their homes – complete with 100 people playing the roles of evacuees.
The exercise forms part of the ongoing, proactive work of the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Emergency Planning team which, with its partner agencies, delivers training, exercises and operations to ensure the county borough is as prepared as it can be.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Cabinet Member for Frontline Services at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “We are proud of the strong, effective working relationships we have with our partner agencies and we work closely together on a regular basis to test responses, learn new skills and ensure we as prepared as we can be.
“Obviously no two emergency situations are the same and there is no training or exercise we could undertake that will give us all the answers or responses we would need for any incident that may arise.
“But the focus is on being as prepared as we can be so we can protect as much of our community as possible should anything arise. Our exercises are well-organised and well-planned and allow us to see how other agencies work and how we all work together.
“By continuing to test ourselves in this way, we can improve our responses and also ensure we are in the best-possible position to help our communities when they need us the most.”