Somerset Levels and Moors 20.01.23

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 (Friday 20th January 2pm).

River levels have continued to fall, and water levels are receding on both Saltmoor and Northmoor. Currymoor is still very full but levels continue to drop. Allermoor, Beazleys, Hook bridge and Atheney spillways have all stopped running. In the last 24 hours alone, pumping operations have helped to bring down the volume of water stored on the Moors from 41 million cubic metres to 37 million cubic metres.

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.

The A361 remains closed, with water slowly receding in this area. Somerset County  Council Highways will be undertaking inspections of the road and will make the decision about when it is safe to reopen.

Pumping Operations
We are maximising all opportunities to evacuate water from the Moors. We are continuing to use Oath lock to divert flows from the river Parrett down the Sowy through Monksleaze Clyce, which continues to help maximise our pumping opportunities.

It can take time for water to work its way through the rhynes to the pumping stations, so at some locations some pumps will switch off intermittently when they run dry, restarting as soon as there is enough water to do so.

As well as the pumping stations and temporary pumps in Northmoor, Saltmoor and Currymoor, pumps have been running at Westover, Huish Episcopi, Long Load, West Sedgemoor and Midelney whenever conditions allow and to try and prevent any further flooding.

Pumps are also running on the high tides at Dunball. Currently, two pumps are operational, with an additional six being installed.

We are monitoring the rivers and all pumping operations, to minimise flood risk to all areas.

Staff will be at Moorland Village Hall and Burrowbridge Coronation Hall today (Friday 20 January) from 3pm to 6pm — please drop in anytime during these hours if you want to speak to us about the current situation. Then we are back at Burrowbridge Coronation Hall on Saturday (21 January) from 2pm to 4pm.

Weather Outlook:
There is settled low rainfall forecast for the remainder of the week, with confidence reducing towards the end of next week.

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:

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.???

If you would like to be added to the distribution list for Somerset Levels and Moors updates, please email

customer service line     03708 506 506
incident hotline     0800 80 70 60
floodline     03459 88 11 88