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Storms and flooding hit Somerset Levels
ROOFS have been torn off in high winds and farmers fear their livelihoods could be at risk as agencies battle to control flooding across the Levels.
The Environment Agency has been working with Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium to open sluice gates and monitor river levels in a bid to keep on top of downpours.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “The Levels tend to become inundated with water, which stands as surface water in roads and fields. More rainfall is on the way for the River Parrett area, which is already flowing very high, so we may issue further warnings.”
Farmers near Bridgwater are preparing for further flooding. Nikki Bere, from Fordgate Farm, said: “We don't have any animals but we farm wheat, rape and potatoes. We have pumps because we are near the levels and the canal.
“We're ok at the moment but we're keeping an eye on it as if it does flood, and remains there, then our crops will die. There's a pumping station in Northmoor so we're hoping they can turn that on.”
Nick Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of the Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium, which includes the Parrett Drainage Board, said: “We monitor the Levels on a day to day basis. The team were opening the sluices last week.
“At the moment we are assessing flooding after the weekend. It's been worse in the Parrett area but we've had no reports of flooding in Bridgwater, though there could be a delayed impact and they're still coming in.
“Bridgwater's wall collapsed due to localised heavy rainfall, not the type of weather we have been having recently. This type of weather rarely affects Bridgwater.”
Weather warnings previously issued for the River Parrett have been lifted.
A spokesman from Somerset County Council said work on Bridgwater's West Quay is unaffected but they continue to monitor the area.
Yesterday 40 first level flood alerts were issued across the South West, with 19 second level flood warnings active in the region. Flood warnings included the upper River Tone from Waterrow to Bishop's Hull and the lower River Tone from Bishop's Hull to North Curry.
A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue said: “We've been using pumps to help clear people's flooded properties and helping to clear drainage systems.
“Some people have attempted to drive through flood water. We do not recommend this as even a small amount can carry a fast current and still be dangerous. To report a problem call 999.”
The fire service was called out to several incidents on Sunday including loose roofing at petrol station in Bridgwater, trees being removed from a highway at Westonzoyland Road and flooding at Castle Street, Storgursey.
Flooding has been reported along the A39 between Bridgwater and Minehead and more is expected. To check conditions call 0845-988-1188.
If you have been affected by flooding we'd like to hear from you. Send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01278-727958.
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