One severe Flood Warnings remains in place as issued by the Environment Agency on Wednesday 5th February, this relates to the A361 between Burrowbridge and East Lyng. The second severe flood warning for Saltmoor and Northmoor (including Moorland and Fordgate) has been amended to a Flood Warning.
For a wealth of flood information including contact details, in an easy to read A to Z style, please visit: A to Z of Flood Advice and contact information (updated 10th March)
For general Flooding Advice please visit: Flooding Advice.
For the latest multi-agency community update please visit: http://somersetnewsroom.com/category/flooding-2/community-update/.
Environment Agency (EA) update
The EA are maximising pumping with the permanent pumps in Langport pumping stations. The EA hope to be able to increase this by switching on a further temporary pump later today. It is anticipated that the road into Muchelney will be clear of water in the next 4 days. When the road is clear Somerset County Council's highways team will assess the road to make sure it is safe to drive and walk on and look at where repairs need to be made.
Pumps in the rest of the Parrett, Tone and Kings Sedgemoor Drain systems are being operated as much as water levels allow, to drain water from properties, roads and farmland as quickly as possible.
Church Road in Moorland is clear and residents will be able to use it. Access to the temporary track way will therefore cease.
Advice to people returning to homes about drinking water systems
The following advice is for people returning to homes once flood levels have dropped, to ensure that water systems are clean and fit for use.
There has been no disruption to the public water supply in the flooded areas but it is possible that pipe work on individual properties has been damaged or contaminated. Wessex Water is carrying out routine monitoring of the water supply in the area and will follow up where there has been damage to pipe work.
- No water - if no water runs from your kitchen tap, please contact Wessex Water urgently. Call 0845 600 4 600, quoting "Somerset Levels Flooding"
- Cleaning and flushing- the majority of systems can be used once the following actions have been taken. Until then you should drink only bottled or boiled water.
- Clean all taps using water (preferably hot if it is available) and detergent and then disinfect using an antibacterial surface cleaner. One bottle of Dettol antibacterial surface cleanser is available per affected household from Help HQ at the old Burrowbridge school or from the Donations centre at the old Somerfield distribution centre on Huntworth Business Park in Bridgwater. Follow the manufacturer's advice on the bottle, ensuring a minimum contact time of 30 seconds to enable disinfection to take place.
- The kitchen tap should be flushed at a moderate rate for 15 minutes.
- All other taps and showers in and around the house should be flushed for 2 minutes.
- If your property has been flooded and you need to flush your taps and you are on a meter you will automatically receive the Wessex Water flushing allowance.
- You should only do prolonged flushing when the flooded water has gone from your home and you are sure water can drain away in your drainage system as normal.
- Pipe work - if you are concerned that there has been damage to pipe work please contact Wessex Water.
- Oil spill - if there is a possibility that your water supply has been contaminated by oil please contact Wessex Water.
- Taste- if you are concerned about the taste of your water, run your tap for a further 15 minutes, if the taste persists contact Wessex Water and tell them you have already run your tap for 30 minutes.
- Taps immersed in flood water- if your kitchen tap has been immersed in flood water, please contact Sedgemoor's Environmental Health Department for advice. If you use a private water supply, please contact Environmental Health on 0845 408 2540 for advice.
Removal of sandbags and temporary barriers in Moorland:
We are aware that many residents are keen to have sandbags and barriers removed from their property, roads and locality as soon as possible and that residents want clear advice on plans for this as soon as possible.
Since 6 March 2014, Sedgemoor District Council along with Somerset County Council and the Environment Agency have been on site at Moorland with people and machinery to begin clearing up sandbags and associated flood defence temporary defences. Priority will be given to clearing access roads and house access as conditions allow and work will continue on a daily basis until this is done. We will then commence moving sandbags from other local areas as they become accessible.
A representative of the authorities involved will be on site, based at Moorland Village Hall, between 09:00am and 05:00pm to co-ordinate these efforts and prioritise the sandbag cleanup work. If you would like further information please call the Sedgemoor District Council Direct (08:00am -06:00pm Monday to Friday) on 0845 408 2540 or local rate 01278 435435.
The Environment Agency will lead the removal of sandbags from flood defence assets and river banks as appropriate and with regard to forecasts and water levels.
These works are to complement the fuller Recovery Plan that has been drawn up by Somerset County Council that will take effect over the coming weeks but we are very keen not to delay urgent actions on clean-up while this plan is finalised.
Disposing of waste left by flood water: A large range of waste material and debris can be left behind by flood water. Please don't tip it back into the rivers. It can block up outfalls and smaller watercourses and cause other flooding. There are different options for getting rid of it through authorised routes such as Somerset Waste Partnership or a private contractor (if you own a business). More information on getting rid of waste is available on the Somerset Waste Partnership website: http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/collections/bad-weather/
Clear-out assistance: Residents who need help removing flood-damaged items from their homes should first check with their insurance company in case items need to be retained or recorded. If disposal of items is approved by their insurer, they should make arrangements through them to have the items removed.
Temporary track way at Northmoor: Church Road in Moorland is clear and residents will be able to use it. Access to the temporary track way will therefore cease.
How to make an offer of support and how to see what offers have been made: You can now make a non-financial offer of support (labour, transport, accommodation etc) online via Somerset County Council's web form. All of the response agencies have received many offers of help and assistance for those affected by flooding, these have all been logged. You can now view the offers made online. If an offer is relevant to your needs you can email Somerset County Council and ask to be put in contact with the person making the offer. The offers web form, offers log and contact details are available here: http://somersetnewsroom.com/floodinghelp/
The multi-agency team were at the Canalside, Huntworth on Wednesday, 5th March between 06:00 and 08:00pm to offer a flood advice and support surgery. Around 80 residents attended the surgery. With the reduction in water levels, we are now putting together the Recovery Plan, which is specifically aimed at flood victims - residents, businesses, farmers and community facilities. Residents came along and shared their worries and concerns, so that together we can consider how best they can be addressed in the forthcoming weeks. It will be a challenge for everyone, and problems can't be solved by just one organisation alone, so the more information we have, the better we all will be able to help you in these trying times. A final flood advice surgery will be held on 12th March at the Canalside, Huntworth. Drop-in between 6:00pm and 8:00pm.
Tree Maintenance: As we move towards recovery, rather than response, and residents consider whether to return to their properties and/or commence the clear-up, we would like to advise that Clean Surroundings Tree Surgeons are able to undertake work on private properties within the district. If trees have been destabilised, require felling or maintenance after recent weather Sedgemoor District Councils Tree Surgeons will be able to undertake a site visit and offer a free quotation. For a fast, reliable and high quality service call 0845 408 2543 or local rate 01278 435435 or e-mail email@example.com. If you need to complete works to a tree due to flood/storm damage and the tree is the subject of a Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) or in a conservation area you will need consent. Please contact Janette Burton, Landscape Officer via 01278 435435 to discuss this. For information and advice on TPO's please visit: http://www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6222.
The Sedgemoor-staffed element of the Rest centre at Westfield Church, West Street, Bridgwater has now closed (as of 28th February). The church will however remain open every day 8:30am to 3:00pm for pastoral support, free refreshments, donation collections, free Internet, showers and laundry services for flood-affected residents. The church will continue to work closely with Sedgemoor District Council Housing staff to signpost customers who need our support. 83 households have, so far, been helped by the centre.
Pumping risks: Residents affected by floodwater are being reminded of the risks associated with clearing up after the waters have receded, especially the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and possible electrocution.
You must never use outdoor petrol or diesel generators indoors, even in the event of a power cut, as the exhaust fumes may contain carbon monoxide, which can kill in a confined space, such as a home.
Also, after being flooded, remember not to turn on gas or electrics until they have been checked by a qualified technician.
As the water recedes, you may be tempted to get rid of it as quickly as possible, by buying or hiring your own pump. All pumps should be used in conjunction with the manufacturer's guidance, as there could be safety implications if not used correctly. Fuel-driven pumps can produce carbon monoxide, which can be fatal in a confined space. You can't see or smell it, but it is extremely dangerous.
Even low-levels of carbon monoxide poison can cause lasting damage to your health. The symptoms are similar to the 'flu' and can include nausea, dizziness, tiredness, headaches, stomach pains and chest pains. If you experience these symptoms, but feel better when you are outside or away from the appliance, you could be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.