This is an update on flash flooding which affected several areas in Somerset yesterday. This includes, but is not limited to, parts of Queen Camel, Milverton, Galhampton, North Cadbury, Yarlington, Bridghampton, and West Camel.
The immediate response was led by the emergency services with support from Somerset Council teams, voluntary agencies and other partners. In Queen Camel area a major incident was declared yesterday evening but this was stood down at around 2am as waters receded.
This morning, members of the Civil Contingencies Unit and Flood Management Team have been visiting affected areas to identify any urgent immediate needs of any residents in the area. We’ve also had Highways and Street Scene teams on site to assess and clear debris. Waste services have continued where possible.
We know at least 15 properties have been impacted in North Cadbury. We are awaiting confirmation from Queen Camel, but at least 11 properties and 16 businesses are known to have been affected. We also know around 18 properties and two businesses in Milverton have been affected.
This number is expected to increase over the coming days and we are encouraging anyone who has experienced property flooding to report it to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or log online at https://swim.geowessex.com/somerset/.
Although we have been working today to identify affected residents, if you are aware of anyone who needs support please advise them to call 0300 123 2224 and choose option 1.
Visits to impacted communities will continue tomorrow and we will provide a further update later this week.
Further weather warnings are possible over the next few days but at this point are not expected to impact on Somerset.
Flooding and roads – key information
Heavy rain and flooding present a clear and present danger to drivers – road users are urged NOT to attempt to drive across flooded roads as it is not possible to estimate the depth of the water reliably.
A number of Somerset roads were impacted by flooding in the past 48 hours. Due to the nature of flooding, water levels rise and fall quickly so the situation can change rapidly.
Our Highways and Street Scene teams have been out today in all affected areas assisting with the clear-up operation and assessing damage to roads.
The majority of roads are now open but please be aware our teams will need to sweep and carry out minor repairs asap.
The A359 at Queen Camel currently remains closed. The bridge has been assessed by an engineer today, but access is needed from underneath, and at the moment water levels remain too high for safe assessment.
It’s vital to prepare for wet conditions if you have to travel and to proceed with extreme caution if you get caught in flood conditions – you can find information and advice here: Adverse weather conditions (somersetroadsafety.org)
If you spot a problem with a drain or gully, or any issue on the highway you can report it easily and quickly here – Report a problem on the road (somerset.gov.uk).
Looking after yourself and mental health
Floodwater can contain hidden dangers such as uncovered manholes or obstacles – so never enter floodwater.
We know that heavy rain fall may trigger feelings of anxiety, fear or worry, particularly for those who have been previously affected by flooding.
Here are some things you can do 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 your normal routine as much as possible
- Visit the Every Mind Matterswebsite where you can find lots of tips and exercises to help manage anxiety
- Stay up-to-date on weather information and warnings. If you’re aware of the latest information, you may gain a sense of control over the situation. Check for flooding – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
What to do during a flood
There is information to help you on what to do during a flood on the Somerset Prepared website. The key point is to always stay safe, in an immediate flood emergency or where there is a risk to life, follow the advice of the emergency services.
What to do after a flood
Following a flood there will be hazards revealed as the water clears, consider the following as you recover from the impacts of an incident.
- Assume floodwater has been contaminated with sewage and avoid contact wherever possible. For further health advice when dealing with flood affected areas visit Public Health England
- It’s important to stop harmful germs that might be present in floodwater from spreading to food. For advice on cleaning preparation areas after a flood visit the Food Standards Agency
- Flooding presents a number of hazards to utilities in the home. Follow electricsafety advice before switching back on
- Contact your insurer if you haven’t already, and let them know the situation. They will advise you of the next steps to take in restoring your home and belongings.
- Reporting when your property has flooded helps the Council investigate why the flood has occurred and look for possible methods to mitigate the risk of it happening again in the future
- Use the SWIM website to update your flood record/record recent flooding
What can I do to prepare for flooding?
Thinking ahead and preparing for what the weather may bring can make a real difference in your home, business and community.
One of the first things is to check is whether your property is at risk of flooding.
We also recommend taking precautionary measures and purchasing your own sandbags in case of flooding emergencies. If sandbags are not available, you can use:
- rolled-up mats or carpets
- bags of garden compost
- pillow cases filled with soil (don’t overfill them)
- timber boards (possibly screwed to door frames and sealed with mastic)
Protect yourself from future flooding
It is advisable to plan how you’ll respond to a flood. Information and plans are available to help you plan ahead.
We also encourage you to download the ‘Prepare. Act. Survive.’ flood plan to help reduce the impact of flooding.
You can find up to date information on flood warnings by visiting the flood warnings page on the Government’s website.