This live event has finished
- Stoke St Gregory and North Curry schools closed today.
- No trains running between Taunton and Penzance.
- Severe flood warnings still in place.
- More rain forecast for the weekend.
- Eric Pickles MP announces £130m for emergency repairs.
- Lord Smith expected to visit Somerset Levels on Friday.
- Royal Marines called in
Royal Marines from 40 Commando sandbagging River Tone in Somerset tonight. They're based nearby in Taunton. http://t.co/R8T47YdRAm— @jonkay01 06 February 2014
RT @BBCNewsGraphics: Unsettled weather ahead - Flood risk for the next three days http://t.co/jEVz70Mbnb http://t.co/wl2ya6eR6K— @williamson37 06 February 2014
Royal Marines have been deployed to help reinforce flood defences.
18 Marines from 40 Commando, near Taunton, are helping with a major sandbagging operation at Stanmoor Bank near Burrowbridge.
They expect to be putting out nearly 1,000 sandbags along a 1-2km stretch of the retaining wall which is being reinforced to prevent overtopping by flood waters.
Chief Superintendent Caroline Peters, Gold Commander, said: "We’ve had the support of the military on standby throughout this major incident.
“Staff from many different agencies have been working tirelessly to fill and put out sandbags. They have been working flat out and Royal Marines manpower has been deployed this evening to bring fresh energy and extra support which is very much appreciated.”
A big thank you for the retweets concerning the 6 horses that needed stables, matter resolved! #SomersetLevels #flooding— @ASPoliceHorses 06 February 2014
Police still on site at Moorland Village Hall, will be there for at least next 24hrs. SDC Rest Centre also still open at Westfield Church.— @SedgemoorDC 06 February 2014
Military support is being brought in this evening to help with sandbag defences, says @ASPolice #Somersetfloods— @GazetteMMarsh 06 February 2014
We've had reports of non-residents visiting the Moorland area. Please do not hinder response efforts or risk your safety. #somersetfloods— @SedgemoorDC 06 February 2014
Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, is expected to visit the Somerset Levels tomorrow (Friday).
Samantha Browning sent in this photo of a flooded road in the Isle Abbotts/Fivehead area.
The A30 Crewkerne Road is closed both ways due to fallen tree between Oaklands Avenue and B3167.
Access to Chard Hospital is unaffected following a large fallen tree from yesterday evening. Council crews are currently on site to remove the tree.
Some 42 new flood schemes have been given the green light by Floods Minister Dan Rogerson today.
A further 13 schemes previously given funding will also begin construction this, bringing the total number of schemes starting work to 55 for this year.
In all the new schemes starting construction this year will provide protection to over 42,000 households across the country.
An additional £130 million will also help to secure and maintain critical flood defences before next winter hits.
Mr Rogerson said: “After the wettest January for over 200 years, Britain has been battered by some exceptional weather and communities have been devastated by the impact of flooding.
“Our flood defences have been seriously tested over the past two months which is why we are investing in repairs to ensure these crucial defences can withstand future storms.
“More money than ever before is being invested in flood defences and the new schemes will give greater security to thousands of homes and businesses that have previously feared flooding.”
A new rest centre and #sandbags are available for people affected by the #Somersetfloods http://t.co/J2a7Wj6rk3 http://t.co/YQZDy1BKvW— @DSFireUpdates 06 February 2014
A total of £344million will be spent by the Government on flood defences this year. For a breakdown, click here.
Somerset Savings and Loans has teamed up with the Langport and Levels Area Savings and Thrift group to set up a £10,000 emergency loan fund to help people affected by this winter’s flooding to rebuild their home lives.
The credit union has set up a hotline at its Portishead HQ to cope with demand from people needing instant decisions on items such as white goods, TVs and other household essentials.
General manager Jackie Simpson said people needing this help will fast tracked for loan decisions.
She said: “We will make all decisions quickly with the objective of getting money to people affected by the floods for essential household items which might have been written off or damaged by the floodwater.
“It’s important that we get money out into the community to help make life a little bit easier for people trying to put their lives back together after these awful floods.”
People affected by the floods can ring the hotline on 01275-390649.
Ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship football match between Yeovil Town and Leeds United, the Glovers have released the following statement:
"With Saturday's Sky televised match against Leeds United fast approaching the club would like to reassure supporters of both clubs that every effort is being made to ensure the game takes place.
The pitch has been covered since late on Monday and is reasonably dry under the covers.
Improvements to the dug out area have been carried out since the postponement of the Watford match which should solve the problems of water not draining away from that area.
The ground staff are regularly monitoring the weather and despite the forecast all remain hopeful the match will be played.
We will carry regular updates on the club's official web site and also on our Twitter feed.
We are living through truly extreme weather conditions which do make like difficult for both the club and travelling supporters, but rest assured EVERYTHING that can be done to ensure the game is played is being done."
Any offers of help for Somerset Flood victims or requests for help - help@FLAGSomerset.org.uk @dredgetherivers— @spencer68 06 February 2014
Delighted the countryside is recognised by Communities Secretary @EricPickles for flood repair funding @dredgetherivers @SomersetMatters— @pow_rebecca 06 February 2014
Latest flood warning info is on our website http://t.co/frm9rFWgxE. Currently 2 severes, 13 flood warnings in SW stay #floodaware— @EnvAgencySW 06 February 2014
Livery for evacuated horses desperately needed near Bridgwater ring 101 #somersetfloods— @ASPBridgwater 06 February 2014
High tide at Watchet (Photo: Hazel Bainbridge)
South Western Ambulance Service has given an update on how its Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) has been deadling with calls across the Somerset Levels.
On Wednesday, the HART team:
- Carried out welfare checks on residents at a property in Burrowbridge and evacuated one patient to safety
- Conveyed a patient from Ruishton to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton for treatment
- Responded with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to a van stuck in flood water – one patient was discharged at the scene
- Responded to reports of two people trapped in a car in flood water. Both patients were taken to safety.
Derek McCullough, East Somerset operational locality manager for SWASFT, said: “I would urge residents across the Levels who have been affected by the flooding to keep an eye on the weather forecast over the coming days.
“Our main aim is making sure those who are affected have all their medical provisions and the HART will be on hand to offer medical advice and treatment if needed.
“More heavy rain is predicted for the area so it is essential that people only dial 999 in an emergency.
"If you require medical assistance but it is not an emergency please call 111.”
Despite #somersetfloods most tourism/leisure business and AONB in the county are open and ready to provide a warm welcome - a must visit!— @TauntonTIC 06 February 2014
West Somerset College has had to postpone it's musical production this week due to the bad weather.
For new arrangements and to read the full story, click here.
PEOPLE are being told to prepare for more flooding at the end of this week.
Severe flood warnings are in place today for parts of the South-West coast where high sea levels have combined with strong winds and large waves.
The region is at risk of flooding for the remainder of the week and into the weekend as widespread bands of rain are forecast, the Environment Agency said.
John Curtin, head of incident management at the Environment Agency, said: “We’re preparing for successive bands of heavy rain forecast into the weekend, groundwater and river levels are already high following the wettest January on record for England.
“With further river and coastal flooding expected this week we continue to have teams working around the clock to protect homes and communities and we are mobilising staff from across the Environment Agency to provide support in affected areas.
"Over 122,600 properties have been protected over the past few days.
“We urge people to stay safe and not to walk or drive through flood water which can be dangerous and to take care near coastal paths and promenades for fear of being swept away."
Pickles: of the £130m announced for emergency repairs, £30m will be spent this year & £100m next #Somersetfloods— @GazetteMMarsh 06 February 2014
.@EricPickles announces 42 new flood defence schemes for 2014-15. Alongside other projects, this will protect more than 42,000 households.— @CommunitiesUK 06 February 2014
First Great Western has just released the following information:
- Trains will run from Penzance to Plymouth with the exception of the 0543 train from Plymouth to Penzance and the 0741 train from Penzance to Plymouth
- All Cornish branch lines will run as normal
- Trains from London Paddington to Exeter will run as per the amended timetable in place due to the Whiteball Tunnel works, with the exception of the 0620 train from Exeter to London and the 1903 train from London to Exeter.
- Trains from Bristol, the West Midlands and the north will continue to terminate at Taunton, as per the amended timetable in place due to the Whiteball Tunnel works
- All Devon branch lines will run as normal except the Newton Abbot to Paignton line.
- Coaches will provide services between Newton Abbot and Exeter and the non-stop service between Plymouth and Taunton will continue, along with additional fast coaches between Exeter at Plymouth. These depart Exeter at xx.15 and depart Plymouth at xx.45. The journey time on these fast coaches will be around 80 minutes.
- Sleeper services are suspended.
- Customers who do not travel will receive a full refund.
- All ticket restrictions are lifted for journeys starting or finishing at any station west of Exeter.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles MP has given his statement to the House of Commons, saying "as the dark skies clear there will be lessons to be learned."
Mr Pickles announced the Government would be providing an additional £130million to help with repairs as a result of flooding.
He said: "We will work to defend both town and country. I do not agree with Lord Smith's [chairman of the Environment Agency] comments which implied there was a choice between town and country."
Mr Pickles said by the end of autumn, a six-year plan to prevent future flooding will have been published.
He added: "We cannot control the weather but we will provide the security that hard working families deserve."
Please stay away from flood water, six inches of fast flowing water can knock you off your feet. Don't wave watch #floodaware— @EnvAgencySW 06 February 2014
#floodaware Helpful guidance on preparing & using #sandbags. Thanks @SedgemoorDC. More help: http://t.co/wcMuWeuWVY http://t.co/DU84VuEb4O— @TDBC 06 February 2014
Speaking at the Business in the Community summit, Prince Charles is reporting back from his visit to the flooding in Somerset.
He said the Somerset Levels is "a classic example of what happens if you pay little attention to the accumulating impact of climate change."
Prince Charles at the #BITCsummit podium. Reporting back from Somerset floods. http://t.co/AuK5jRqbkM— @NJones 06 February 2014
RT @westyeo: @dredgetherivers #clubhectare #FLAG operation move the cows is on! We need feed, theirs is under water. ! Please help http://t…— @DevonBeef 06 February 2014
@TheFarmingForum looking for forage donations hay straw silage to get to Sedgemoor market,junction 24, M5 to feed 550 evacuated cattle— @westyeo 06 February 2014
We have nowhere to put them if this farm goes under as well!!!!!! Someone give us some bloody answers, before it's too late for my livestock— @SouthWestFarm 06 February 2014
Looks like our top farm is now at risk, what the hell!!!!! We are screwed if we loose this farm too!!!!! #somersetflood #SomersetLevels— @SouthWestFarm 06 February 2014
We've lost the bungalow water is now in. Fire crew tried their best, that's it then. Over.— @SouthWestFarm 06 February 2014
James Winslade, who farms at Moorland, has made a desperate appeal for forage to feed his 500 cattle.
In a dramatic series of tweets, he described the drama as his bungalow flooded and his cattle's food was swamped.
I quite I can't cope anymore!— @SouthWestFarm 06 February 2014
VIDEO: Paul Silvers
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is due to give an announcement on the winter floods in the House of Commons at 11.15am this morning.
.@floodmary let's hope Mr Pickles can sort out our pickle in #Somerset - please send army to help residents prepare for more rain & flooding— @dredgetherivers 06 February 2014
People in Fordgate, North Moor and Moorland were last night being advised to evacuate, with the council estimating up to 150 properties could be affected.
They were told to evacuate to North Petherton Bowling Club with water levels expected to rise.
Some of the villagers were already cut off so the only way police could inform them of the evacuation plans was by helicopter.
(RVS ladies Verity Trevor-Morgan and Marsha Casely)
(Burrowbridge resident Anthony Rippon, who was evacuated from his home)
(Sedgemoor District Council housing advisors Kirsty Michaels and Karen Rainey, who were signing people into the centre)
For those who cannot travel due to the adverse weather conditions, you would be entitled to a (full) abandoned journey refund.— @FGW 06 February 2014
Severe flood warnings are still in place at Salt Moor and North Moor, as well as the A361 East Lyng to Burrowbridge.
For Environment Agency advice, click here.
More photos taken yesterday by Doug Lowe from Junction 25 of the M5 on the edge of Taunton.
The views are looking across the chicken farm by Maiden Brook next to B&Q by the River Tone and from Salisbury Church Lane looking back across to the M5.
Doug Lowe took these photos of flooding causing chaos on the A358 yesterday (Wednesday).
The Met Office has issued a warning for further heavy and persistent rain across the South West including Somerset.
The rain will continue from Thursday afternoon until Friday morning, and again from late Friday evening until early Saturday followed by frequent heavy showers.
Between 20-40 mm of rain will fall each day between Thursday to Saturday.
Our travel feed info as of 8.07am
The Environment Agency has a severe flood warning in place for people in Moorland, North Moor, Salt Moor and Burrowbridge.
Trains between Taunton and Penzance are not running due to the wall collapse at Dawlish.
An hourly direct bus service will run between Taunton and Plymouth.
All trains running between Taunton and Castle Cary are closed due to flooding on the tracks.
The A378 between Taunton and Langport is passable with care this morning.
Thurlbear School, Stoke St Gregory and North Curry schools have all announced that they will not be open today, Thursday February 26.
In an statement on the school's website, Barbara Berks, head teacher at Stoke St Gregory, said: "We have reached this decision after consultation with Somerset County Council and looking at the weather forecast.
"It is not a decision that has been taken lightly and most importantly we have considered the health and safety of the children, staff and parents."