Somerset flooding threat is no longer a major incident

By Susie Watkins

24th Jan 2023 | Local News

Closer to Frome : This was the A303 last week flooded out
Closer to Frome : This was the A303 last week flooded out

The Environment Agency and the local authorities in Somerset have removed the major incident status declared last week as flood risk in the county has reduced. 

A major incident was declared on 17 January as a precautionary move to coordinate partners as the threat of flood increased. With enhanced pumping and recent dry weather, water levels have reduced on the Somerset Levels and Moors and it has been decided by Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum that the precaution is no longer needed. 

Jim Flory of the Environment Agency said: "We have been seeing an improving picture in Somerset over the last few days, with enough water to fill more than 23 million bathtubs a day being pumped back into rivers.

"Staff continue to work day and night to monitor and stage this major pumping operation as there is still lots of work to do and water to remove. We are grateful to all involved, including our partners, for their help and support." 

Cllr Bill Revans, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: "The decision to stand up a major incident was not taken lightly, but it was the right move at that time to ensure everyone was ready to take further actions to support our communities if needed. 

"Thankfully, conditions have improved, and I am grateful to colleagues in the Environment Agency for their efforts to bring in additional pumps. 

"We will continue to work closely with both partners and local people to monitor the situation and are well placed to react swiftly should the need arise." 

Environment Agency operations will continue in Somerset with Currymoor approximately 80% full. Pumping activity is underway at Currymoor, Saltmoor, Northmoor, West Sedgemoor, Long Load, Westover, Huish Episcopi, and Midelney. In addition there are temporary pumps running at Elson's Clyce, Haymoor, Fordgate, Kitch Drove and Bridgwater docks. At Dunball, the pumps are operational and running on high tides. 

While there is still a lot of water still on the Somerset Levels and Moors, and residents are reminded to: 

·      Monitor their flood risk and sign 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.

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