Somerset Levels and Moors 15.01.23

Background:
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, we have removed some flood warnings, however the following flood alerts and warnings  remain in place including:
• Curry Moor and Hay Moor
• A361 East Lyng to Burrowbridge
• Washford River; riverside properties from Kingsbridge to Lower
Roadwater

Current situation:
Overnight between 2mm and 6mm of rain fell over the catchment. The rivers are still at full capacity today.

The Sowy has been operated at every opportunity to relieve the Parrett and Tone.
Today, in agreement with our partners, we took the decision to reopen Monksleaze and are currently operating well outside of the usual parameters in an attempt to reduce river levels in the Parrett and Tone. We operate Monksleaze to divert flows out of the Parrett, this enables pumps to continue pumping for longer in high flows at Langport stations, including Currymoor.

The permanent pumps at Northmoor and Saltmoor are currently pumping at capacity and have been since the 6 January. Additional 2.5m3 of pump capacity is now operational at Saltmoor, and the additional pumps at Northmoor will become operational from tomorrow providing the river levels allow.

Tomorrow a crane will be on site at Northmoor PS from around 9am to install the submersible pumps. Tomorrow evening a smaller crane will also be outside the site to install the discharge pipework. This operation will necessitate intermittent disruption to road users since we will have to stop traffic when the crane swings. This is likely to last during the night time on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum, and ask for your patience while these works are carried out. A short road diversion around the station will be in operation once the pipework is in place.

Temporary pumps are now installed at Currymoor, adding 4m3 of capacity, and are ready to run the moment the level in the Tone recedes sufficiently for us to operate them. The focus is currently to stop Athelney spillway running. This will reduce the water volume going into Northmoor and Saltmoor.

Currymoor remains full.  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.

Rivers in the Axe/Brue catchments have now peaked and are receding. There is some localised flooding of minor roads and low-lying land, but property flooding is not expected here.

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. We are aware that some properties have flooded in the Tone catchment; Bathpool, Bradford on Tone and some in surrounding areas.

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 operational from tomorrow, one at a time, each one can be switched on in immediately as installation progresses – provided river levels allow. In total they will add 10m3 of capacity;
• We have installed additional pumps at Currymoor and these are ready to use. 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; enabling operations began today. 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.
• Additional pumps are now operational at Saltmoor PS.

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:
The outlook is currently more settled and the forecast is reasonably dry for the next 5 days, however we could see some showery rainfall tonight and tomorrow. This is an improving picture however river levels remain high.

Additional Information and advice:
Prepare for flooding in advance and stay up-to-date on weather information and warningshttps://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