Somerset Council Highways teams responded to more than 100 incidents as Storm Ciaran battered the county overnight on Wednesday and into today (Thursday).
The Council’s contingency plans were rolled out, deploying teams on standby to incidents as they were reported.
About 30 incidents involved fallen or hazardous trees while much of the rest were related to flood-related issues. The southern part of Somerset, as well as Bridgwater, saw the heaviest rainfall and the wet weather is likely to continue into this evening. More rain is forecast into Saturday with an unsettled weekend in store.
The Council received reports of some flooding outside properties but very few reports of properties being flooded. Council staff were deployed to jet gullies to clear debris with the focus on sites where properties were at risk of flooding.
Drivers and others planning to travel are advised to check here @TravelSomerset on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) before they set out.
On the roads, the risk of surface water flooding is receding but drivers are asked to be extremely cautious as many minor roads may be affected. River levels remain high and are being closely monitored.
Residents are advised to keep monitoring Environment Agency flood warnings for any further alerts and updates.
Key roads affected – closed due to flooding at lunchtime 2 November:
- A37 Ilchester Roadd – Coppits Hill Lane to Vagg Lane
- A358 Donyatt near Ilminster
- A356 Norton Sub Hamdon
- B3168 Ilton to Curry Rivel
Closed earlier in the day now reopened: A359 Marston Magna.
A significant number of minor roads are also affected by both fallen trees and landslips, including:
- Green Lane East Chinnock (landslip)
- Scott’s Way Middle Chinnock (landslip)
- Stoke Road, Stoke Sub Hamdon (flooding)
- Pitway Hill (flooding)
- Oak Road, Tone Green(flooding)
If you spot a problem on the road you can report it quickly and easily here: Report a problem on the road (somerset.gov.uk)
Remember, 30cm of water is enough to move a car – do not drive through flood water. For more information about flood conditions and driving visit Adverse weather conditions (somersetroadsafety.org)
Ten schools were closed due to staff and students facing travel problems, while Haygrove School in Bridgwater, was closed due to building safety concerns. Affected schools are listed here: School closures (somerset.gov.uk)
Waste collection services were deployed in full this morning, with just a small number of areas where collections couldn’t be made due to localised flooding. These will be returned for as soon as access is possible. All nine recycling sites due to open today opened as planned.
- For drain and gully problems, or any issue on the highway report it easily and quickly here – Report a problem on the road (somerset.gov.uk).
- For health advice when dealing with flood affected areas visit Public Health England
- For advice on cleaning preparation areas after a flood visit the Food Standards Agency
- Follow electric safety advice before switching back on.
- Contact your insurer if you haven’t already and let them know the situation. They will advise of the next steps to take in restoring homes and belongings.
- Use the SWIM website to update flood records/record recent flooding.
Looking after mental health
Heavy rainfall may trigger feelings of anxiety, fear or worry, particularly for those who have been previously affected by flooding. Here are some ways to help reduce any feelings of anxiety caused by heavy rainfall and the activation of local flood defences:
- Talk to somebody about how you are feeling, if you don’t feel able to talk to friends or family you can call Mindline – Somerset’s emotional support and mental health helpline which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 01823 276 892 (local) 0800 138 1692 (freephone).
- Try and do activities that help you to feel less stressed like exercising, reading, listening to music, or meditating.
- Help neighbours and others in your community, look out for each other
- Follow normal routine as much as possible.
- Visit the Every Mind Matters website where you can find lots of tips and exercises to help manage anxiety.
- Stay up to date on weather information and warnings: Check for flooding – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)