Somerset Levels & Moors 19.01.23

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
  • Curry Moor and Hay Moor
  • A361 East Lyng to Burrowbridge

Current situation:
The situation on the Somerset Levels and Moors is constantly evolving. This outlines the most current information at the time of writing (Thursday 19th January 3pm).

Around 6mm of rain fell in isolated areas across the catchment over the past 24 hours, but this is not anticipated to have a significant impact on river levels. River levels have continued to fall, and water levels are receding on both Saltmoor and Northmoor. Currymoor is still very full but levels are dropping, and considerably less water is going over the spillway, so the overall picture is improving.

The major incident designation remains in place for the time being, to enable continued focus on the Somerset Levels and Moors, with enhanced partnership working.

Today at 11 am we began the installation of five pumps at Bridgwater Docks, to enable us to use the canal as an additional channel to evacuate water from Park Brook and Northmoor. This will not increase risk of flooding in the area. We apologise for the short-term inconvenience caused by the necessary footpath diversions.

Northmoor Pumping Station
At Northmoor pumping station, the 4 permanent station pumps continue to operate, plus 7 additional temporary pumps. Field teams have continued working through the night and installation of the remaining 3 temporary pumps is expected to be finished today, ready to use if needed. Currently water levels at the pumping station are too low for these pumps to be used. In total the additional pumps at Northmoor will add 10m3 of capacity.

Temporary pumps have been installed in two additional locations to drain water from Northmoor:
• 2 pumps at Park Brook, Elson’s Clyce (operational)
• 7 pumps at Fordgate (expected to be operational later today) pumping into the canal, supported by 5 pumps at Bridgwater Docks pumping this water from the canal to the river.

Saltmoor Pumping Station
As well as the 3 permanent station pumps, we have an additional 7 pumps running at Saltmoor.

Two temporary pumps were running at Dunball on the overnight high tide and will continue to be operated on high tides. A further 8 pumps will be operational by the end of the week. This will allow us to direct even more water down the River Sowy and into King’s Sedgemoor Drain as needed. This will further help to reduce levels in the River Parrett and Tone.

Currymoor Pumping Stations
Currymoor remains full, however the level is dropping, meaning that significantly less water is running over Athelney Spillway and Lyng Cutting. With no further rain forecast, we anticipate the spillway will stop running within 24-48 hours.

All pumps at Currymoor pumping station are operational, with four station pumps and eight additional pumps running.

Haymoor Pumping Station
Five 12-inch pumps have been deployed at Haymoor to enhance the pumping at Currymoor when conditions allow.

Langport and West Sedgemoor

Upstream of Langport, there is water stored on the moors and storage volumes remain high. Since yesterday, Westover and Huish Episcopi pumping stations have been operational, and this morning we turned on an additional pump at Midelney. This was the first possible opportunity to do so without causing river levels to rise and exacerbate the flooding elsewhere.

With pumping, levels on West Sedgemoor are now stable. We are monitoring the rivers and all pumping operations, to minimise flood risk to all areas.

Weather Outlook:
The outlook is currently more settled, and the forecast continues to be dry for the next 3-5 days.

Tidal Outlook:
Based on the current forecast, the tidal cycle combined with weather conditions means that peak tides are expected on Tuesday 24 January. Weather conditions are currently projected to be favourable in terms of limiting the size of the tides. We are closely monitoring the impact that these high tides will have on pumping operations. The temporary pumps at Northmoor are less likely to be impacted by the tide due to the elevated position of the outfalls, but pumping may be impacted for short periods elsewhere.

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:

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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.???

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