Major Incident declared on the Levels
The Environment Agency has declared a major incident on the Somerset Levels because of the continued risk of flooding. The decision to declare an incident is precautionary. It means partner agencies are on alert and can start co-ordinated work should the situation worsen. Cllr Bill Revans, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “The decision to declare a major incident at this stage means we are well placed to respond. We will be supporting Environment Agency colleagues on the ground and taking every step to ensure our communities receive the help they need.”
Enhanced pumping of water began on Tuesday evening (17 January) at Northmoor.
This will hopefully reduce the amount of water being stored until river levels allow pumping to resume at Currymoor. Currymore remains full. Extra pumps are ready to use at Currymoor once conditions allow. When the water level at Currymoor has reduced, Athelney spillway will stop flowing into Northmoor.
Water is still covering the A361 between East Lyng and Burrowbridge. A flood warning for that area remains in place and the road is closed.
A flood warning has been issued for Saltmoor and Northmoor and agency officers were in the village of Moorland yesterday to meet with residents and offer advice and support.
Monks Leaze clyce has been opened allowing water to be diverted to the Sowy flood relief channel. That will flow on to King’s Sedgemoor Drain to Dunball. From Dunball the water can flow out of the Parrett Estuary. However pumps are being installed to allow pumping to continue in the event of high tide.
Diverting more of the water into the Sowy means pumping can continue more frequently and for longer at impacted pump stations on the moors.
The Environment Agency urges residents to check their flood risk by signing up for flood warnings and create a flood plan so they know what action to take and are prepared to act. You can find links at https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk.
They also warn residents not to drive through floodwater. It is the number one cause of death during flooding and puts yourself and rescue agencies in jeopardy. During this cold snap there is also the risk that floodwater could freeze. The EA are also warning people not to walk or play on or near ice. Remember the tragic deaths of four young boys playing on a frozen lake at Babbs Mill in the Midlands.