Flooding update lunchtime today
We have just been given the following updates:
The Environment Agency acting with partners, including Somerset County Council, local authorities and emergency services are working on a number of short term, emergency options to maximise the amount of floodwater that can be pumped away from the Somerset Levels and Moors as quickly as possible. These are measures put in place to try and get rid of water before the next storms come. The EA state that they recognise that these works / additional pumping will increase water levels in these other channels. The EA are evaluating these risks and looking to provide additional temporary defences to potentially affected properties.
Measures being put in place will include options such as pumping to the Taunton and Bridgwater Canal, increasing the volume of floodwater that goes down the Sowy (River Parrett Alleviation channel) and pumping at both Beer Wall and Dunball.
The decision to commence pumping at Beer Wall and Dunball and increase the volume of floodwater going into the Sowy was taken late yesterday by Somerset Gold Control (the multi agency group running the response to the flooding). Pumping is due to commence by mid week. All risks and benefits across the Somerset Moors and Levels have been considered in making this decision. This is an emergency situation and some very difficult decisions have to be made.
Monk Sleaze – Sowy – King’s Sedgemoor Drain
It has been agreed that five temporary pumps will be installed at Beer Wall on the A372, and eight temporary pumps at Dunball. These have been brought in from Holland.
Increasing the volume of floodwater passing down the Sowy will assist in reducing river levels in the Rivers Parrett and Tone. This operation will involve additional pumping on both the Sowy and the King’s Sedgemoor Drain.
Once installation is complete, for the first couple of days only the pumps at Dunball will run, with the aim of lowering water levels in the King’s Sedgemoor system first. Monks Leaze Clyce will then be fully opened and more flow diverted down the Sowy, over pumping at Beer Wall Sluice and pumping out on all states of the tide at Dunball.
Pumping will start in the middle of next week. The pumps will be craned into place once the winds drop.
The pumps are extremely large units and so will require the A372 road to stay closed for the period they are operating. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Flood alleviation works at Huntworth
The Environment Agency is currently constructing a temporary earth flood bank at Huntworth, at right angles to the River Parrett, the railway and the canal. These works will be complete early next week. This will help hold back any floodwater that may come down the system from Northmoor to try and protect over 1,000 properties on the outskirts of Bridgwater. Floodwater is not currently an issue at Huntworth. This is a precautionary piece of work. We are also going to put in a couple of pumps at New House Farm, Huntworth Lane. These pumps will remove floodwater from the surrounding land, should water impound behind the new floodbank. There will be some temporary road closures on Huntworth Lane early next week, to enable pump installation.
Pump installation at Bridgwater Dock
The Fire and Rescue Service have been pumping flood water into the canal at the Boat and Anchor Inn, Huntworth and behind Huntworth Business Park. The Environment Agency has today agreed with the Canal and River Trust that we will install a pump at the entrance to Bridgwater dock, so that we can over pump (at all states of the tide) into the River Parrett. This pump will help reduce the risk of the canal overtopping and putting property at risk. The pump will be installed over the next couple of days.