Somerset Levels and Moors 17.01.23

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 water is stored on the moors.

Across Somerset, the following flood alerts and warnings are in place including:
• Salt Moor and North Moor including Moorland (new)
• Curry Moor and Hay Moor
• A361 East Lyng to Burrowbridge
• Washford River; riverside properties from Kingsbridge to Lower Roadwater

Current situation:
River levels remain high, and the moors continue to fill as the water drains from the catchments. However, the rate of rise on the moors is slowing and the rivers are receding.

Athelney spillway is still running and is expected to continue to run for several days, even with dry weather. Priorities now are to reduce pressure on the Tone by maximising the use of Monksleaze Clyse and the Sowy flood relief channel, and maximise the pumping capacity at Northmoor and Saltmoor.

The Sowy has been operated at every opportunity to reduce flows downstream on the Parrett and Tone.
Monksleaze Clyce is fully open today, to try and reduce levels in the River Parrett.

Northmoor Pumping Station:
Field teams have been working through the night at Northmoor to install additional pumps, and 24-hour operations will continue as needed. We expect to get at least 3 additional pumps operational today, and the remaining pumps operational over the next 24-48hrs. In total the additional pumps at Northmoor will add a further 10m3 of capacity. At Park Brook, Elson’s Clyce we are installing 2 pumps this evening. This will further help to remove water from Northmoor.
There will be an emergency road closure between Moorland Village and Huntworth Bridge from 6pm-10.30pm this evening. Access will be for emergency vehicles only.

Saltmoor Pumping Station:
We now have an additional 7 pumps operational at Saltmoor and a further 3 temporary pumps in position ready to be used if and when there is enough water at the pumping station.

Dunball:
The installation of pumps at Dunball continues. These will be switched on as soon as each one comes online. This will allow us to direct even more water down the River
Sowy and into King’s Sedgemoor Drain. This will help to reduce levels in the River Parrett and Tone. Minimising levels in the Tone is important because it reduces the amount of flood water that enters Curry Moor, Saltmoor and Northmoor.

Currymoor Pumping Station:
Additional pumps were installed at Currymoor last weekend. These added an additional 4m3 of capacity. We are ready to run these pumps as soon as levels in the Tone recede. Currymoor remains full.

Langport:
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 balance which pumping stations we operate to minimise risk to people or property.

Flood warnings:
We have received questions about why a flood warning was issued for Saltmoor and Northmoor including Moorland at 02.30hrs this morning. Our flood warning system was automated at that time and was issued when the flood warning trigger was met. The message was to encourage people to take action and be prepared.

Weather Outlook:
The outlook is currently more settled, and the forecast is dry for the next 3-5 days. This is an improving picture however river levels remain high.

Additional Information and advice:
We continue to have staff working 24/7 both in incident rooms and out on site and will continue to keep you updated.

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

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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.???

If you would like to be added to the distribution list for Somerset Levels and Moors updates, please email aceo.wessex@environment-agency.gov.uk