County Council declares “A Major Incident”
Residents of the Levels will have be forgiven the major incident started weeks ago. However the announcement by Somerset County Council is not flippant. By declaring a major incident they are flagging up to central government that this is a situation which cannot easily be dealt with by local councils. As a result without external help (that can include support from the army) there could be a threat to lives and extensive damage to property.
The County Council can now implement emergency plans which may include setting up evacuations, rest centres and mobilising voluntary organisations.
Following an amber warning of rain from the Met Office, people living on the Somerset Levels should be prepared for further flooding. There are fears that rain this weekend could cause problems for Langport and Westonzoyland.
There is however increasing anger that this whole situation was preventable and suggestion shave been made that the Environment Agency did not use the summer months to get the river defences into a state of readiness. That these floods have happened in the wake of a similar amount of rainfall in Holland where there has been no flooding, is interesting.