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Somerset storms: canoe duo in dramatic escape
Updated 8:17am Monday 17th February 2014 in News
This live event has finished
- Around 240 homes in the South-West still without power
- Thousands more are reconnected
- Rains expected to return tomorrow
Sunshine on the Quantock Hills #Somerset...Sunshine Honest ~ A dry bushy foxtail today ~ Sheer Bliss ;0))) http://t.co/8kWwhIFlM3— @OutdoorFox 16 February 2014
THIS photo shows the Langport duo (see 5.18pm update) making their way to safety. PHOTO: Elliot Watson
WESTERN Power Distribution says only 240 homes in the South-West are now without power.
THIS dramatic photo taken this afternoon shows two men grabbing onto a bridge in Somerset for dear life after their canoe capsized.
The incident happened on the River Parrett at Langport at about 3pm (more details below). PHOTO: Elliot Watson
Elliot Watson, who took the photo said: "Two guys were out canoeing on the River Parrett and its surrounded flooded areas at Langport in Somerset today when they headed into the main flow and realised it was too strong to paddle out of.
"They drifted towards the foot bridge opposite Shakspeare Glass and Arts, where their canoe turned sideways and capsized.
"Fortunately the two guys managed to grab hold of the bridge and pull themselves to safety."
AN auction yeseterday at Sedgemoor Auction Centre supported farmers in Moorland who have been forced to leave their flooded farms.
For every dairy cow, store bullock or stirk sold, the partners of Greenslade Taylor Hunt donated £1; for every calf sold they donated 50p and for every sheep, 25p.
THIS video shows damage to the road surface near Ilminster Cemetery.
Here's our contact numbers: Incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60. Floodline: 0345 988 1188 / 0845 988 1188. General: 03708 506 506 #floodaware— @EnvAgencySW 16 February 2014
THE giant Dutch pumps installed on the banks of the River Parrett at Bridgwater have been temporarily switched off - because they were damaging the river bank.
The 13 pumps should be switched back on tomorrow.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: "The decision was taken to stop for a short period to stabilise the bank so we can restart pumping on Monday.
"We also have used this opportunity to move the pipes further into the estuary to minimise further damage."
THE number of homes without power in the South-West has been reduced to 900, says Western Power Distribution.
AMY says: "Bethany has spent the last 48 hours providing much needed tea and coffee, walking volunteers around the the properties that need help and taking hundreds of photos for people that will both act as a memory of the event and as evidence, should they be needed, for insurance claims."
PHOTO: Bethany Branson
These photos were taken by Amy Branson's 11-year-old daughter Bethany.
AMY Branson has emailed in to describe the situation in the hamlet of Chadmead, near North Newton, and the superb response of volunteers from the likes of FLAG - the Flooding on the Levels Action Group.
Amy writes: "I was hoping that you would be able to raise some awareness of our flooding plight.
"Despite all appearing calm and normal in the village of North Newton, barely a mile past the middle of the village, the hamlet of Chadmead has been battling the fllods for weeks now.
"In a hamlet of 12, half of the properties have now been flooded and people have evacuated.
"The remaining six properties are fighting day and night to save their homes.
"Luckily on Thursday, late evening, we were visited by, the now famous, Ravi Singh and some of the FLAG team delivering much needed sandbags.
"On Friday, when things were getting very dicey we were lucky to have many FLAG volunteers and many (non-Somerset) Environmental Agency staff who were all absolutely amazing.
"They spent all day providing sandbags and sandbagging properties and provided much needed morale to residents.
"Again yesterday after a shout out by my sister on the FLAG Facebook page we were presented with more volunteers, sandbags, pumps, dumper trucks and more.
"Without these people more properties, yesterday, would have gone under.
"One volunteer (Shane) even returned after helping all afternoon, to man an elderly couple's pump overnight.
"It is humbling that we live in a county that is so giving and has so many selfless people to help out."
RT @Matt_Parkerr: Ok I knew the weather was bad, but a trampoline... Up a tree... Only in Yeovil! http://t.co/uqlfIEJ6Ff— @harriethughes12 15 February 2014
HOMEOWNERS have been warned of the dangers of fuel tanks being damaged or moved by deep floodwater.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service says if tanks containing liquid petroleum gas are damaged and come into contact with an ignition source, there is a risk of "an extremely serious explosion".
And if tanks containing heating oil are damaged, there is a pollution risk.
Station manager Kevin Hardwill said: “We realise that people affected by flooding have got a lot to deal with at the moment, but we are giving this warning because there is a risk of a serious incident occurring.
“We would urge people to check that tanks or containers attached to their homes or on their premises are secure.”
Anyone with concerns should call the police non-emergency number on 101.
PICTURED is one of the dozen 4x4 vehicles Avon and Somerset Police have hired to use on the Somerset Levels.
Thanks driver Keith, Ravi and team for setting up flood relief centre at burrowbridge school. On track to open Monday am. #somersetfloods— @SomersetCouncil 15 February 2014
The Winkworth Way emergency footpath at Burrowbridge #somersetfloods http://t.co/oYLxG8Fm5I— @dredgetherivers 16 February 2014
AND here's some more unwelcome news from the Met Office:
"Another spell of rain is expected across southwest England during Monday.
"This is not expected to be as prolonged or heavy as in recent days but still has the potential to exacerbate existing flooding problems given the saturated state of the ground.
"The public should be aware of this possible further flood risk and disruption to transport."
THERE could be another hazard for motorists to watch out for, however.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for ice throughout the region.
NO new flood warnings have been issued for our region today.
The same two severe flood warnings are in place - at Salt Moor and North Moor, and from East Lyng to Burrowbridge.
The Environment Agency has a further 20 flood warnings for the rest of the region.
WESTERN Power Distribution gave this update a short time ago:
"We have around 2,500 customers without power in the South West.
"Normal operation has returned to South Wales, West and East Midlands.
"We anticipate to have supplies in the South West restored during Sunday.
"Since Friday evening, we have restored approximately 148,000 customers' power supplies.
"All faults are currently being worked on and restorations are continuing in the South West."
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