Somerset Levels and Moors 12.01.2023

Background:
The Somerset Levels & Moors are designed to store flood water when the rivers flowing through them over-top. The recent heavy rain has caused spillways (specifically designed low-points in the riverbanks) on the Rivers Tone and Parrett to flow and there is now water stored on the moors.

Across the whole of Somerset, there are currently eight flood alerts and three flood warnings in force. Two of these flood warnings are on the Levels & Moors (Currymoor to Haymoor, and A361 East Lyng to Burrowbridge) as well as six of the flood alerts.

Current Situation:
Significant rain fell overnight across the already saturated Parrett and Tone catchments. Rivers responded quickly, with levels in Currymoor flood storage reservoir rising as a result.

Spillways at Hook Bridge (Tone), and Beazleys and Allermoor (Parrett) are all running. The associated pumping stations at Currymoor and upstream of Langport are all switched off, and Monks Leaze Clyse is closed. This will remain the case until river levels recede.

Currymoor is full and Athelney Spillway is running, which will lead to flooding of the A361 once the ditch network in Northmoor and Saltmoor are full. Isolated low-lying properties could be impacted.

Somerset County Council Highways are being kept informed and they will make a decision about closing the A361. Closure decisions focus on the safety of road users. Emergency road closure gates – Travel Somerset.

Pre-agreed operational trigger levels for the deployment of additional temporary pumps have already been met for Northmoor and Saltmoor. Additional pumps will be installed at Northmoor over the coming week. We are also preparing the ground to allow us to install pumps at Currymoor and Dunball if needed. We are monitoring the situation and following our operational procedures. Our teams are out checking our flood defences and clearing debris screens and other assets to ensure correct operation.

We are also liaising closely with partners including Somerset County Council, Avon & Somerset Police and other emergency services to ensure that local residents are informed and supported.

Water levels are high across all catchments in Somerset and we are monitoring the situation across the whole county.

Outlook:
The forecast for the next few days remains unsettled, but the expected accumulations are not high. We will maximise pumping when river levels and tides allow. Currymoor reservoir can be pumped out in about 14 days with low enough river levels. It can store 17 million cubic metres of water safely.

Our trigger points plan sets out when we deploy mobile pumps.

The Somerset Levels and Moors are designed to store floodwater. However, the £80 million of investment since 2014 in flood risk interventions is helping us better manage the flooding. It allows us to take pre-emptive action to delay the onset of flooding and to evacuate the waters more effectively. Together this enables communities to be more resilient and to recover more rapidly from flooding.

customer service line 03706 506 506
floodline 03459 88 11 88
incident hotline 0800 80 70 60