Since our last briefing, unsettled weather has continued across Somerset, so the ground remains wet and catchments continue to respond to rainfall. Further rainfall is forecast for 16 November.
Our field teams are out checking assets and clearing screens to ensure we’re ready. The Met Office has issued a Yellow Weather Warning for rain from midnight Wednesday 15 November through to 6pm tomorrow, with rainfall totals of 20mm – 25mm currently forecast.
We have been operating pumps when conditions allow, in all areas of the Somerset Levels and Moors. Pumping can only take place when river levels are low enough to receive the pumped flood water. We have staff on duty 24/7 monitoring the forecast and river levels, which allows us to optimise our operations to minimise risk to people and property across the Levels and Moors.
Somerset Council Highways have reopened the emergency closure gates on New Road and Cutts Road, however Langport Road (Muchelney to Langport) remains closed. For up-to-date information please see the Somerset Council website.
Axe / Brue Catchment
River levels remain high in the Brue catchment. Some minor low-lying roads, notably around Godney, continue to be affected by flooding. Although the catchment is very saturated and there is a lot of standing water on the fields, our assets and structures are working as expected and we are operating to our normal winter procedures.
We have been bringing levels down at Gold Corner to create capacity ahead of the wet weather. Our teams are out checking screens and assets, and we continue to be vigilant to ensure our operations are as effective as possible in reducing flood risk to people and property.
Parrett / Tone Catchment
Upstream of Langport Flood alerts remain in place for the River Yeo and Parrett, and the Yeo and Parrett Moors around Muchelney and Thorney.
We are closely monitoring levels and pumping stations have been operating when possible.
Downstream of Langport, in agreement with our partners, we continue to operate Monksleaze Clyce to utilise the Parrett Flood Relief Channel (Sowy). This continues to relieve the Parrett and Tone and maximises opportunities to operate pumping stations.
A Flood Warning remains active for Curry Moor and Stan Moor and a flood alert remains in place for the Lower Tone and Parrett Moors for Currymoor.
There is a temporary footpath closure between New Road and Curload to enable bank repairs to take place at Haymoor. We will keep any disruption to a minimum and thank residents for their understanding.
Levels in the River Tone have allowed significant pumping to take place in Currymoor over the past week, creating more capacity ahead of the forecast wet weather. We have been taking advantage of drier spells to ensure we are as prepared as possible, and field teams have successfully deployed temporary pumps at Currymoor, Saltmoor, Haymoor and Elson’s Clyce.
Additional pumps can only be used when there is sufficient water at the pumping locations and enough room in the main channels to receive the flood water. Currently, levels are within the capacity of the permanent pumps at both Saltmoor and Northmoor. We have also installed temporary pump pipework at Northmoor.
Public engagement events.
We are planning two events in December for Somerset Levels & Moors residents which will focus on flooding and preparations for winter. These events will be an opportunity to hear about some of the actions we have been taking ahead of this winter, to reduce flood risk. It will also provide an opportunity to access support and information to ensure we are for the winter ahead.
The events will be held at:
Burrowbridge Coronation Hall – Tuesday 5th December 2023 from 5pm to 7pm Moorland Village Hall – Thursday 7th December 2023 from 5pm to 7pm
Residents will also have the opportunity to speak with our partners including the Somerset Rivers Authority and Somerset Council, who are also supporting the events.
The weather remains unsettled for the next 5 days with further heavy and persistent rain expected on Saturday, although there is still a lot of uncertainty in the forecast at the moment.
We can expect further flood alerts to be issued due to the rainfall expected tonight and there is a possibility of additional flood warnings being issued over the next few days.
What happens next?
We appreciate that the wet weather can cause significant anxiety for those who have been affected by flooding in the past.
We will continue to send out updates, as necessary, to keep Somerset Levels and Moors residents and our partners informed on the situation and how we are responding.
Flooding advice and information
Our advice to the public is to stay safe and not enter floodwater – just 30 cm of fast flowing water can move a car, and just 15 cm of fast flowing water could be enough to knock you off your feet. Motorists should avoid driving through flood water as the bow wave can damage homes and car engines.
Call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 for updates on flooding, to sign up for flood warnings, or to report flooding.
- Go to gov.uk/prepare–for–flooding or search ‘know my flood risk’ to sign up for Environment Agency flood warnings, receive information on the risk in your area and what to do in a flood.
- Sign up for flood warnings at gov.uk/sign–up–for–flood–warnings
- Visit the Environment Agency website gov.uk/environment–agency which contains information on current river levels and flooding
- Follow us on social media: facebook.com/environmentagencywessex o www.twitter.com/EnvAgencySW
o Or visit: www.somersetriversauthority.org.uk
- Prepare for flooding in advance and stay up-to-date on weather information and warnings:
What to do during a flood
Remember: Always stay safe. In an immediate flood emergency or where there is a risk to life, follow the advice of the emergency services.
For all enquiries, or if you would like to be added to the distribution list for Somerset Levels and Moors updates, please email WessexEnquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk