Somerset Levels and Moors 14.01.23

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

Across Somerset, there are multiple flood alerts and warnings in place including:
Curry Moor and Hay Moor
A361 East Lyng to Burrowbridge
River Brue and Glastonbury Millstream from Lovington to Highbridge; low lying properties
Washford River; riverside properties from Kingsbridge to Lower Roadwater
Donniford stream and in the Sampford Mill farm area
River Aller

Current situation:
Following rainfall over the past 24 hours, levels in the rivers Parrett and Tone are rising. We anticipate levels remaining high for the next few days so they will continue to overspill into the moors. When the rivers are overspilling like this the pumping stations will not operate, and this will remain the case until river levels recede and there is capacity for water to be pumped in.

Athelney spillway is running, so water is flowing from Currymoor into Northmoor and Saltmoor. The pumping stations for these moors are operational. The A361 remains closed.

Upstream of Langport there is water stored on the moors and storage volumes remain high. All pumping stations are off; when river levels reduce enough, we will need to balance which pumping stations we operate to minimise risk to people or property.

The majority of rivers in the Axe/Brue catchment have peaked and are receding. There is some localised flooding of minor roads and land, but property flooding is not expected in this area at this time.

We continue to monitor the situation and have teams on the ground across the Area. We are liaising with partners including Somerset County Council, the emergency services and local flood wardens. We are also in contact with and offering advice to a number of residents in isolated low-lying properties that are impacted by flood water.

Pumps and Pumping Position:
The deployment of additional temporary pumps is underway.

We are currently deploying ten additional pumps at Northmoor pumping station. These additional pumps will be fully operational within the next 10 days, but each one can be switched on in immediately as installation progresses – provided river levels allow;

We are also installing additional pumps at Currymoor and these will be operational early next week. Again, we will only be able to use them if the levels in the River Tone recede. At present the rainfall from the last few days is keeping levels high;

Additional pumps are also being installed at Dunball, with enabling operations commencing tomorrow. Again, these will be switched on as soon as each one comes on-line. This will allow us to direct more water down the River Sowy and into King’s Sedgemoor drain to help reduce levels in the River Parrett as needed. Minimising levels in the Parrett is important because it means we can operate the Saltmoor and Northmoor pumps earlier.

River-level telemetry data online:
We are aware that some river level telemetry data are not appearing or being updated on the gov.uk website. We are sorry about this and are working hard to resolve this as soon as possible. This fault is not affecting our operational response.

Weather Outlook:
Minimal rainfall is forecast for the remainder of Saturday (14/01/2023) with 2-4mm average expected. Currently, modest rainfall is expected for Sunday (average 8mm), before becoming settled with negligible rainfall totals anticipated over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

This is an improving picture for the coming few days, but rainfall overnight has resulted in the upper catchments responding, and we anticipate these flows moving down the system causing river levels to remain high.

Additional Information and advice:
Prepare for flooding in advance and stay up-to-date on weather information and warnings: https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/plan-ahead-for-flooding

Follow us on social media:
(1) Environment Agency – Wessex | Bridgwater | Facebook
Environment AgencySW (@EnvAgencySW) / Twitter

Or visit:
Home – Somerset Rivers Authority

We know that heavy rainfall may trigger feelings of anxiety, fear or worry, particularly for those who have been previously affected by flooding. Mindline is Somerset’s emotional support and mental health helpline which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 01823 276 892 (local) 0800 138 1692 (freephone).

What to do during a flood 
Information to help you on what to do during a flood is on the Somerset Prepared website. Remember: Always stay safe. In an immediate flood emergency or where there is a risk to life, follow the advice of the emergency services. 

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