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Flooding update

Please find below the latest public information release from the Environment Agency. As ever please do share this information with those who do not have ready access to it:

Flood warnings and flooding situation

There are still two severe flood warnings in place and three flood warnings. River levels remain very sensitive to further rainfall.

Significant issues still include:

Muchelney, Thorney and Langport – The roads leading to the villages of Muchelney and Thorney remain flooded and impassable. All pumps in the Langport area are still turned off so the situation downstream is not exacerbated. River levels in the Yeo and the Parrett are falling but remaining high and drain levels in adjacent moors remain high.

West Sedgemoor – The levels at West Sedgemoor Pumping Station remain high but stable. One pump is operating at the pumping station and will continue to pump as long as conditions allow.

Curry Moor – The levels in Curry Moor are slowly reducing as a result of river levels dropping.  The moors remain full and sensitive to changes of levels in the River Tone.  The spillways at Hookbridge and Athelney are still running.  We continue to monitor the situation closely at Curry Moor and will commence pumping as soon as conditions allow. Levels in the River Tone need to drop by a further 20cm to allow the pumps to operate.

The A361 remains closed and this will be the case until the spillways stop running and the levels in Northmoor and Saltmoor drop.

Northmoor and Saltmoor Northmoor and Saltmoor Pumping Stations are operating at full capacity. We currently have over 50 pumps serving the area in and around Moorland.

The levels at Northmoor and Saltmoor are dropping.

A pipeline is being laid to make sure fuel can continue to be supplied to Saltmoor Pumping Station.

Oil tanks – we are sending a team out to recover and make safe oil tanks affected by the flooding.  If you would like to speak to someone in the Bridgwater incident room about this, please call 0800 807060 and leave your name, address
and contact telephone number.

Huntworth – Four large capacity Dutch pumps have been installed near Newhouse Farm to allow us to pump water from the moors into the River Parrett.

Sowy – Monksleaze Clyce Sluice remains closed.

We currently have eight pumps in place at Dunball, all of which are operational.

Today, the Environment Agency is reviewing the opportunity to gradually open Monksleaze Clyce over the weekend to divert water from the River Parrett into the Sowy and Kings Sedgemoor Drain system and out at Dunball.  Subject to the weather, this is most likely to happen on Sunday.  If this goes ahead, Monksleaze Clyce will only be opened a very small amount and there will be people on the ground downstream to closely monitor how the levels respond.

Levels in the Kings Sedgemoor Drain will continue flowing under gravity when the tide allows.

Westonzoyland – All pumps (including the five temporary pumps) are operational and water levels in the Penzoy (Andersea Main Rhyne) are currently falling slowly.

Following the update sent out last week regarding pumping operations and the temporary pumps at Beer Wall and Dunball, we have received some enquiries asking whether this work will increase the flood risk to Westonzoyland.  Any additional water will be added very slowly by gradually raising Monksleaze Clyce – we will monitor this operation very closely and shut it down if there is significant risk of flooding to Westonzoyland or properties in Aller. We do not anticipate any flooding to properties from letting this additional water down the Sowy.

As an additional precaution we have installed some temporary defences and sandbags in Aller Drove and Westonzoyland.

Aller Drove – Please see the text above on Monksleaze Clyce (under Sowy).  We have placed some temporary flood defences along Aller Drove to mitigate any increased flood risk here.

The pumps at Beer Wall will be run intermittently over the coming days to ensure the discharge arrangement does not affect the local structure and adjacent banks.  This is for testing only.  We are not switching on the pumps for the full pumping operation at this stage.  We will continue to monitor water levels downstream on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain as part of the overall pumping strategy and pump operating timings.

Long Load – Levels in the River Yeo are currently falling. Levels on the adjacent moors remain high but stable.

Brue and Axe – River levels in the catchment remain high but stable with no significant issues.

It is important to note that this is an ever-changing situation. Managing the pumping operations is a fine balance – we need to ensure that by lowering water levels in one area, it does not increase the flood risk to property in another.

Please be assured that we continue to monitor levels in the catchments 24 hours a day and operate additional pumps as soon as it is possible to do so. You will appreciate that because the flooding is widespread, we have to consider the effects of flood water throughout the area and operate the different pumping stations accordingly.

It is important to bear in mind that any further rainfall will cause the rivers to rise and could alter any pumping regime.

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