Somerset recovers from New Year's Day floods

Yeovil Express: The scene in Westford on New Year's Day. Photo: Maria Kerr. The scene in Westford on New Year's Day. Photo: Maria Kerr.

SEVERAL flood warnings remain in place after Somerset endured another barrage of rainfall on New Year’s Day.

Heavy rain battered the region yesterday (January 1), causing rivers to rise and parts of the county to flood.

In Westford, near Wellington, roads turned the rivers as the deluge took its toll. 

Resident Maria Kerr, who was a victim when the village was flooded in 2013, said: "Thankfully we're not flooded this time but only because we were here to stop it.

"The problem is caused by drains not coping."

The notorious A361 at Burrowbridge, on the Somerset Levels, was again closed both ways and remains closed today, affecting traffic between Taunton and Street.

Bradon Lane in Isle Abbots, South Somerset, became unpassable in the afternoon, causing problems for those leaving the B3168.

Shoppers in Taunton reported the Tone reaching high levels, particularly running under the bridge through the town centre. 

This morning, Western Power said it was currently dealing with several power shortages in the county town.

Somerset County Council's highways teams responded to 43 call outs yesterday and a number of roads are still closed today. 

They are: 

  • A361 between East Lyng and Burrowbridge
  • A359 from Marston Magna to Queen Camel
  • A358 at Donyatt Hill
  • Lipe Lane, Greenway Lane, Stoke Road and Hayden Lane at Henlade
  • Bradford on Tone to Hillfarrance
  • Stoke Road in Martock
  • Amberd Lane in Taunton
  • Hoopers Lane in Stoford
  • Broadway Lane in Broadway from the junction with A358

Meanwhile, sport also fell victim to the weather, with several football matches called off.

Yeovil Town's Championship clash with Watford at Huish Park, which was scheduled for live TV coverage, was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

It was the same in the lower divisions, where rain forced the postponement of Taunton Town's derby game at Bridgwater.

Some 40 warnings are in place across the South-West, while 60 flood alerts have been issued.

People travelling this week are also reminded to check the latest flood updates ahead of making journeys and should not drive through dangerous floodwater.

Last night, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: "I have been chairing meetings throughout the day to ensure that the Environment Agency and local councils are on the ground and offering all possible support to their communities.

"We will remain in touch with local councils in at-risk areas and I will be chairing a further meeting of COBR to make sure that everyone is prepared and ready to respond.

"I urge everyone in affected areas to sign up to EA flood warnings and follow the advice issued."

To report a fallen tree or other problem on the highway, call the county council on 0845 345 9155.

Keep up to date by visiting our live traffic and travel page here.

Send your flood stories and pictures to newsdesk@countygazette.co.uk or tweet us @CountyGazette

Comments (5)

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1:45pm Thu 2 Jan 14

CannotFindAUserNAme says...

Stop the building of houses on flood plains, dredge ditches. The council allowed the building of a detached house at the top of Bishops Lydeard, next to the football field. Now the road constantly floods, it never used to.
The council are also insisting on building more houses in the village - one area to the south east by Hithermead, is agricultural land, which is currently under water, but the council want to build there. Who will pay when they are flooded?
Stop the building of houses on flood plains, dredge ditches. The council allowed the building of a detached house at the top of Bishops Lydeard, next to the football field. Now the road constantly floods, it never used to. The council are also insisting on building more houses in the village - one area to the south east by Hithermead, is agricultural land, which is currently under water, but the council want to build there. Who will pay when they are flooded? CannotFindAUserNAme

2:55pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Blue Owl says...

When are the E Agency and SCC going to stop Jaw Jawing and do something about these Annual Floods........
They know the problems, saturated fields, watercourses unable to carry the excess volumn's, the inability to get on with and properly remove the build up of Silt and Mud from the River Parrett, using this to heighten the banks where possible, with access......
Make the King Sedgemoor Drain, do what we all believe it is there for - to Actually drain the Moors, into the Drain and the Rivers Brue and Parrett, so that at the Ebb tides the excess water is carried to the sea. Thus allowing more land locked watercourses to reduce the levels......
We Ex and Current Cllrs, have along with local Farmers Landowners, Drainage Board Members, had so many meetings where things are going to be done, nothing happens time after time, apart from more lives of our residents and Businesses are ruined because of Water entering their properties .......
There are new homes being built, with the existing drain system having to take up more and more water waste or Rainfall..........
Why are new properties not being made to have water gathering systems built at the design stage to recover use rain water, for all no drinking / Cooking purposes......
It is no good the E Agency dredging the Parrett as they did b4 only for it to be dumped at the Estuary, to be brought back on the next tides, as they did out by the Thatchers @ Moorland , BurrowBridge. Only now we see the River is narrower than it was. 5 years ago.....What aWaste of time and Our Money.,!!
Why, is the only solution they have to Bridgwater, not flooding is to
'Sacrifice BurrowBridge Properties and Homes'
We in Bridgwater, are on E Agency Flood Zones 3 and 3a - this is the highest Flood risk Zones in Somerset. It means that no new homes can be built in some area's, on other they have to be raised on minimum1 Metre of heavy chipping/Gravel.
We are paying a new house surcharge on every new property, for a Barrage that in my opinion will Never be Built @ ave £2750 00 per property.

The E Agency, uses graphs, and projections and Computor simulations to come to its conclusions........r
ather than actually taking into account local Knowledge, Dunwear, and the Centre of Bridgwater, have not flooded for the last 50 -100 years, never by overtopping of the River Parrett, localised flooding occurs when the Culverts can not take the volume flowing into them, as they are not maintained, replaced, enlarged with new connections ,ie: homes built into the existing drains.
As I have said b4 It is not Rocket Science!!!! You can not get a Quart into a Pint Pot, dredge the River Parrett, make the lowest banks as overflow area's with which the excess River water can be relieved into collection pools in fields with the Silt pulled up behind the edges, to take reasonable volumes away from the River during high tides........Obvious
ly Simples!!!!
Now let's here the E Agencies response to these sound proposals !!!!!!
David L Preece
davidpreece2@aol.co.
uk
When are the E Agency and SCC going to stop Jaw Jawing and do something about these Annual Floods........ They know the problems, saturated fields, watercourses unable to carry the excess volumn's, the inability to get on with and properly remove the build up of Silt and Mud from the River Parrett, using this to heighten the banks where possible, with access...... Make the King Sedgemoor Drain, do what we all believe it is there for - to Actually drain the Moors, into the Drain and the Rivers Brue and Parrett, so that at the Ebb tides the excess water is carried to the sea. Thus allowing more land locked watercourses to reduce the levels...... We Ex and Current Cllrs, have along with local Farmers Landowners, Drainage Board Members, had so many meetings where things are going to be done, nothing happens time after time, apart from more lives of our residents and Businesses are ruined because of Water entering their properties ....... There are new homes being built, with the existing drain system having to take up more and more water waste or Rainfall.......... Why are new properties not being made to have water gathering systems built at the design stage to recover use rain water, for all no drinking / Cooking purposes...... It is no good the E Agency dredging the Parrett as they did b4 only for it to be dumped at the Estuary, to be brought back on the next tides, as they did out by the Thatchers @ Moorland , BurrowBridge. Only now we see the River is narrower than it was. 5 years ago.....What aWaste of time and Our Money.,!! Why, is the only solution they have to Bridgwater, not flooding is to 'Sacrifice BurrowBridge Properties and Homes' We in Bridgwater, are on E Agency Flood Zones 3 and 3a - this is the highest Flood risk Zones in Somerset. It means that no new homes can be built in some area's, on other they have to be raised on minimum1 Metre of heavy chipping/Gravel. We are paying a new house surcharge on every new property, for a Barrage that in my opinion will Never be Built @ ave £2750 00 per property. The E Agency, uses graphs, and projections and Computor simulations to come to its conclusions........r ather than actually taking into account local Knowledge, Dunwear, and the Centre of Bridgwater, have not flooded for the last 50 -100 years, never by overtopping of the River Parrett, localised flooding occurs when the Culverts can not take the volume flowing into them, as they are not maintained, replaced, enlarged with new connections ,ie: homes built into the existing drains. As I have said b4 It is not Rocket Science!!!! You can not get a Quart into a Pint Pot, dredge the River Parrett, make the lowest banks as overflow area's with which the excess River water can be relieved into collection pools in fields with the Silt pulled up behind the edges, to take reasonable volumes away from the River during high tides........Obvious ly Simples!!!! Now let's here the E Agencies response to these sound proposals !!!!!! David L Preece davidpreece2@aol.co. uk Blue Owl

7:07am Fri 3 Jan 14

Samej1 says...

Whilst dredging the river will help prevent flooding caused by excess rainfall by increasing the runoff, it won't affect surges of the type happening this morning - when the tide is at and above the astronomical high, the water simply has nowhere to go.
Whilst dredging the river will help prevent flooding caused by excess rainfall by increasing the runoff, it won't affect surges of the type happening this morning - when the tide is at and above the astronomical high, the water simply has nowhere to go. Samej1

12:21pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Blue Owl says...

Samej1 , off course that is correct, but today's weather is abnormal, one in 30 year event!! But, the year on year flooding to properties in low lying area' s must be addressed, those householders and Businesses cannot get insurance cover, at all or for highly increased Premiums which are not acceptable........
Now on the News, just the Environment Agency have announced 1500 job Loses to happen........ What great timing to announce this......I hope it's the Beaurocratic Pen Pushers being Paid High Salaries to do little or nothing over the last 10 years!!!!! Not the actual E A workers on the Grounds, watching and delivering the Service to the Communities.
The Agency is far to top heavy with Administrators and Corporate Directors across the Country as a whole......
Recycle the saved Salaries into some of the measures I've been promoting for Tooo many years to Deaf Ears . Alas !!!!!!!
David L Preece
Samej1 , off course that is correct, but today's weather is abnormal, one in 30 year event!! But, the year on year flooding to properties in low lying area' s must be addressed, those householders and Businesses cannot get insurance cover, at all or for highly increased Premiums which are not acceptable........ Now on the News, just the Environment Agency have announced 1500 job Loses to happen........ What great timing to announce this......I hope it's the Beaurocratic Pen Pushers being Paid High Salaries to do little or nothing over the last 10 years!!!!! Not the actual E A workers on the Grounds, watching and delivering the Service to the Communities. The Agency is far to top heavy with Administrators and Corporate Directors across the Country as a whole...... Recycle the saved Salaries into some of the measures I've been promoting for Tooo many years to Deaf Ears . Alas !!!!!!! David L Preece Blue Owl

10:34pm Fri 3 Jan 14

YInsider says...

Inside the Environment Agency Whistleblower Blog: http://www.insidethe
environmentagency.co
.uk
Inside the Environment Agency Whistleblower Blog: http://www.insidethe environmentagency.co .uk YInsider

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