Across the Levels & Moors, 3 flood alerts and no flood warnings remain in place.
The weather has continued to be dry, with a settled short-term forecast. All spillways have stopped running and river levels are stable. The water stored on the moors continues to reduce, with an estimated 11.3 million cubic metres remaining. Currymoor is now below full (44%).
Pumping at our stations and extra locations continues, with operational staff making best use of all our equipment to maximise the volume of water being evacuated from the moors. Some of the watercourses that feed our pumping stations have restrictions that limit the amount of water that can flow through these channels, for example road or private bridges. Wherever possible, we are working with partners and third-party landowners to find a way forward where there may be scope to improve the capacity of these restrictions.
We are also aware that some concerns have been raised about silt in Northmoor Main Drain. This was extensively desilted in 2015 and is on our rolling programme of work for desilting work in the coming year, along with up to a dozen other sites.
As water further recedes, we continue to encourage riparian owners to check their culverts and ditches, and clear any blockages to ensure free flowing water to our pumps. For more information on riparian owner responsibilities see: Owning a watercourse.
We will keep many of the temporary pumps in place through the winter, however some of our smaller pumps are no longer providing benefit and require servicing, so need to be returned to the local depot. These pumps are quick to redeploy if needed. The pumps at Fordgate and Bridgwater Docks were demobilised yesterday (Thursday 26th January). However, any pumps that require more time to install will be kept in place.
The public are reminded it is not safe to enter areas or compounds where pumping operations are underway.
Cutts Road, New Road and Langport Road remain closed, and some minor lanes may also still be flooded. Somerset County Council Highways will make the decision about when these roads are safe to open. As water recedes, we continue to urge motorists not to attempt to drive through flood water.
Thank you to everyone who attended last night’s drop in at Moorland Village Hall; we hope that you found it useful to be able to chat with staff. We want to reassure residents that we know people may continue to have questions. We’re planning a series of engagement events where people will have a chance to feed back their thoughts and concerns, and find out the latest on what is happening.
As the situation continues to improve, we will be moving to weekly briefings with our next briefing on Wednesday 1st February. Our social media will continue to provide regular updates.
Message from Somerset County Council:
If your home has been affected by flooding you can find advice and precautions to keep your family safe while cleaning up at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/floods-how-to-clean-upyour-home-safely
Flooding can cause feelings of anxiety, fear or worry. Talk to somebody about how you are feeling, if you don’t feel able to talk to friends or family you can call Mindline – 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). You can also find advice and information at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flooding-health-advice-mental-health-following-floods
Disposing of Sand/Gel Flood Bags
Where possible, sandbags and gel bags should be dried out for reuse. The best way to do this is to raise them off the ground whilst drying to help prevent mould forming.
If this is not possible, the contents can be removed by splitting the bag and distributed/buried in your garden, the sacks can then be deposited in your refuse for onward incineration, the gel used in the bags is harmless and fully biodegradable.
Bags, of sand or gel, can be taken to any of the county’s 16 recycling sites and should be deposited in the ‘landfill/non-recyclable’ skip.
Any sacks contaminated with raw sewage should be handled with care wearing gloves and washing your hands thoroughly afterward. The sacks should be double-bagged and taken to your local recycling site for the ‘landfill/non-recyclable’ skip
Additional Information and advice:
Follow us on social media:
(1) Environment Agency – Wessex | Bridgwater | Facebook Environment AgencySW (@EnvAgencySW) / Twitter
Home – Somerset Rivers Authority
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
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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