Somerset Levels and Moors 21.01.23

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 the Levels & Moors, the following flood warnings are in place:  

  • 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 as of Saturday 21 January (9:00am).

We remain in Major Incident, to ensure continued focus on the Somerset Levels and Moors with enhanced partnership working.

However, the picture continues to be an improving one with the amount of water stored on the levels and moors reducing. We continue to manage water levels using a “system wide” approach, balancing our activity across the entire levels and moors as we move the water out to sea.

In the last 24 hours, pumping operations have helped to bring down the volume of water stored on the Moors from 37 million cubic metres to 31 million cubic metres. By comparison, at the peak of the 2014 event we had 100,000 million cubic metres of water to pump

Curry Moor remains full. Athelney Spillway and Lyng Cutting have stopped running into Salt Moor and North Moor and levels on both Moors are falling.  

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 is also open.

Whenever conditions allow our pumping stations and temporary pumps are operating. It takes time for water to work its way through the system, so at some locations pumps will switch off intermittently when they run dry, restarting as soon as there is enough water to resume operating. As water levels are dropping, we are adjusting the location of some pumps to optimize their output and keep them running effectively.

Pumping activity is currently underway at Currymoor, Saltmoor, Northmoor, West Sedgemoor, Westover, Huish Episcopi, Midelney, and Westonzoyland.In addition there are now 4 temporary pumps running in Haymoor and 8 at Dunball.

There are 6 pumps at Fordgate and 5 on the docks in Bridgwater – we are using the canal to remove further flood waters from North Moor and the Fordgate area, pumping it back into the River Parrett in Bridgwater.

Staff will be at Burrowbridge Coronation Hall on Saturday (21 January) from 2pm to 4pm to answer any flood related questions or concerns you may have.

Weather Outlook:
There is settled low rainfall forecast for the next 5 days.

Tidal Outlook:
Tides are expected to peak in the morning of Monday 23 January. 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