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Somerset floods: Met Office issues ice warning
Updated 4:57pm Tuesday 14th January 2014 in News
This live event has finished
- Support boat crewed by firefighters heads to Muchelney today
- It will be used to transport supplies and ferry people in and out
- Met Office issues yellow warning of ice for Friday night
- Readers continue to send in their dramatic flood pics from across the county
Andy Beadsley, director of national charity The Wheelyboat Trust, which supplied one of its MK III Wheelyboats to help reach villagers stranded in Muchelney, said: "We are happy to provide as much support and assistance as we can at this time of dreadful flooding.
"Any relief that the Wheelyboat can bring to the villagers is welcomed by us and the team at Maunsel Lock Canal Centre have worked incredibly hard to make this relief effort possible.”
The Wheelyboat, normally based at Maunsel Lock in North Newton, has been crewed by firefighters today to reach Muchelney villagers trapped by floodwater.
EXHIBITORS at the London Boat Show have joined forces to deliver a Rigiflex New Matic 360 Safety Rescue Boat to aid marooned villagers in Muchelney.
The boat, engine, lifejackets, safety and radio equipment, insurance and transport of the boat to Somerset has all been provided through the goodwill of London Boat Show and its exhibitors including: ADPR, ASAP, BHG Marine, Coleman, Event Broadcast, Garmin, ICOM, IPC, Marine Resources, Ocean Safety, PSP, Rigiflex and Torqeedo.
Adrian Danson, National Boat Shows’ commercial director, said: “The London Boat Show has a wide range of marine experts all under one roof here at ExCeL and we have been following the news of the extreme weather conditions across much of the UK with real concern.
"Our thoughts are with everyone living in the areas that are affected and we are proud to be in a position to come together as an industry to help make a difference.”
Alice Driscoll, managing director of Somerset based company ADPR said: “I know this area well and the plight of the villagers who have been cut off.
"Working in the marine industry enabled us to pull together the whole package from Rigiflex boat to Torqeedo engine.
"The marine industry responded to the plea for help and within 24 hours the rescue boat was delivered by PSP to the village, where it is now being used to carry people to and from work and school and bring essential supplies into the village.”
Alastair Mullineux, a Muchelney villager, said: “Fantastic thanks to all involved. The boat is already in use.”
Video: What to do during a yellow 'be aware' severe weather warning for ice http://t.co/wm0kAlYApz #weatheraware— @metoffice 10 January 2014
Just spoke to lady flooded out of home on the Levels. Her insurance excess is over £10k. #somersetfloods— @Justin_SCF 10 January 2014
THE Met Office has issued a yellow warning of ice for the South-West tonight.
It says the public should be aware of the potential for disruption to travel on the roads.
Local Authorities affected are: Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Plymouth, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Torbay, Wiltshire.
Keep your eye on the weather forecast, here.
1:31pm Fri 10 Jan 14
Emails were sent to to the Ministers Office suggesting that the Army or the Marines could be used to help the people in the flooded areas as they have the expertise and the equipment.
Other than an automatic acknowledgement nothing has yet been received, I daresay we will get a reply when the emergency has gone.
We are off the radar as far as the government is concerned, if this was London or the home counties all three services would be on alert
24 temporary pumps brought in to assist the 11 permanent pumps operating #Somerset Moors & Levels, more will operate when river levels allow— @EnvAgencySW 10 January 2014
JOHN Osman, leader of Somerset County Council, says the county has been short-changed in terms of funding to deal with flooding.
He said: "Our communities deserve better, and we will fight to get more help from government.
"This council, despite its financial challenges, has put its hand in its pocket and found £300,000 for river dredging.
"We have also made a further £500,000 available to help victims and communities over the past 12 months.
"Now it is time for Government to stump up significant sums of money so we are not in this position year after year."
Cllr Osman is now leading the way on a ‘Fairer Funding for Somerset’ campaign calling on the Government to help support communities like Muchelney who face flooding disruption for the second year in a row.
Check out flood protection in action: A local action group sent us this pix to show how flood water can be kept away http://t.co/PxOmj9Cjno— @DefraGovUK 09 January 2014
Good afternoon there are 22 flood warnings and 21 flood alerts in the south west Moreinfo http://t.co/BqAP4UQhQ7 #floodaware #UKStorm. Kevin— @EnvAgencySW 10 January 2014
HAVE you snapped any dramatic photos of the floods? Send them to us and they could appear in our online photo gallery.
Email email@example.com or tweet them to @CountyGazette @BWMercury @BHWeeklyNews or @chardandilynews
11:28am Fri 10 Jan 14
great job done by everyone and fanx to the council for the boat that helped everyone.
10:24am Fri 10 Jan 14
Better late than never but I would have thought that the Marines could have been approached at an early stage to provide this service.
MOTORISTS are being urged not to drive through flood water.
The Environment Agency is warning people that 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.
For advice on what to do during a flood, click here.
A BURNHAM Area Rescue Boat crew helped an 83-year-old woman stranded in Muchelney get to hospital yesterday.
She was taken across the flooded fields in BARB's rescue boat to attend a medical appointment.
The charity's volunteers have made dozens of trips to Muchelney with supplies and to take people backwards and forwards.
On Thursday, BARB was also asked to help Royal Mail take a large quantity of post to the village by boat - a first for the charity.
CAROLE Paterson sent us this beautiful photo of the sunset across the floods at Burrowbridge.
She said: "Despite the dangers and inconvenience the floods have caused, the sunset across the floods was so stunning.
"We do need the rivers dredging and to try and avoid building on our flood plains."
Frosty,sunny and misty start to the day in Somerset -hope it drys up the flood water! #Somerset #somersetfloods http://t.co/KTv8oV6J5Z— @criscadby 10 January 2014
@Justin_SCF @GazetteDMilli Well done to all @Somerset_CF for turning round 1st flood grant applications within 48 hours of launch. Excellent— @DJAFothergill 10 January 2014
THE A372 at Othery and the A361 at Burrowbridge remain closed today.
Keep up to date via our live traffic and travel page.
Now calling on fellow MEPs & local government to work together to secure more funding to tackle water management once and for all in the SW.— @grahamwatsonmep 10 January 2014
THERE are currently 22 flood warnings and 22 flood alerts in the South-West.
The Met Office weather forecast for today reads: "Many places dry and bright after a chilly start with icy patches in places, but a few showers may clip southern coasts.
"Clouding over by the afternoon with outbreaks of rain spreading from the west."
If you’re worried about flooding, make sure you sign up for free flood warnings from @EnvAgency http://t.co/dX2vTiC9YW #floodaware— @EnvAgencySW 10 January 2014
THIS photo, also from Dave Orr, shows a 4x4 driver going through floodwater on the A361 near West Lyng.
DAVE Orr sent in this photo of Athelney spillway near East Lyng overflowing from Curry Moor to Salt Moor.
THIS was the scene in Muchelney earlier this week.
Re-visit our coverage, here.
A CREW from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service will be making regular trips to Muchelney from today, after Somerset County Council paid for a support boat to access the flood-locked village.
The flat-bottomed vessel will be able to navigate sunken cars, trees and other underwater obstacles to reach Muchelney from the Huish Episcopi direction.
The council says it will be mostly for ‘humanitarian’ use, with priority given to people with health or social care needs.
It is hoped the eight-seater vessel will be able to make three trips a day to and from the island taking food, medicines and other supplies.
Residents will also be able to use the service to get back to work and to shop.
Where space is available, it will also be used to help take the few children remaining in Muchelney to the mainland and a drop point just a few hundred metres from Huish Episcopi Academy.
The support boat will be accompanied by a rescue boat and will not operate if conditions are deemed to be unsafe.
The boat will only operate in daylight hours.
“We have listened to the community and moved as quickly as possible to provide this boat,” said Somerset County Council deputy leader David Hall.
“For obvious reasons, the use has to be prioritised for those in maximum need and safety is absolutely paramount.
"We are hopeful that flood waters will start to recede before too long and village life can return to normal, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely
“A lot of organisations have helped make this possible and my thanks go to them.”
Earlier this week the council announced £50,000 of funding for flooding hardship cases and £200,000 for community flood relief projects.
Cllr Hall added: “We have seen many people hit very hard by these floods.
"They have been described as once in 100 year floods but we have seen serious flooding now in the same areas for two years in a row.
“We are working hard to support people and communities as best we can while operating under our own very challenging financial situation.”
The council thanked all the organisations which have helped organise the support boat including: The Canal and Rivers Trust, Bridgwater and Taunton Canal Volunteer Group, Maritime Coastguard Agency, The Wheelyboat Trust, and Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service for operating the service.
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