Somerset Council teams are supporting communities after widespread thunderstorms and heavy rain brought flooding across the county yesterday (Sunday).
A number of homes and businesses across West Somerset and Wellington have been flooded. The Council has been working with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to get an accurate picture of how many people have been affected. It’s estimated about a month’s rainfall fell in one day.
Both the A39 and A396 were closed on Sunday due to flooding and several other roads were badly damaged.
The key affected areas include Minehead, Carhampton, Dunster, Withycombe, Watchet and Wellington.
River levels are falling but one warning for the River Tone and a number of alerts remain in place in West Somerset. With more heavy rain expected on Wednesday morning across West Somerset and the rest of the county, homeowners and businesses are being urged to protect their premises.
Council teams will be on the ground over the next few days in the affected areas meeting residents and businesses. They will be gathering information, offering advice and identifying those who need urgent support.
Highways teams have been on site throughout Sunday and today engaged in the clear-up operation.
Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital, Councillor Mike Rigby, said:
This is really dreadful for those residents and businesses who have been affected. We don’t know the full extent yet but teams are working hard to build up a clearer picture.
This was an extraordinary amount of rainfall – we saw drain covers in Minehead blown off because of the sheer volume of water trying to get through, and roads have been badly damaged in some communities.
Our Highways teams are out clearing and assessing the damage to roads, and we’ve got people on the ground meeting those affected by the flooding – we’ll get to as many people as we can but if you need urgent support or advice now don’t wait, please get in touch.
We can’t say that this event was cause by climate change, but the science tells us that events like these are likely to happen more frequently and the Council has an important role to play in helping communities become more resilient as well as helping tackle the causes of climate change.
- Housing and social care teams are working across the affected areas to support vulnerable individuals affected by flooding.
- Clear-up has been ongoing on A39 and A396 today, with sweepers operating in affected areas, assessments are being made on smaller roads in local communities which have been badly damaged, including Combe Lane in Withycombe (see images).
- More rain is forecast on Wednesday morning – residents urged to be prepared, road users advised to plan ahead and observe conditions.
- Residents and businesses who are concerned about flooding are advised to source their own sandbags from builder’s merchants – Somerset Council does not have a supply of these at depots.
If you or anyone you know needs support immediately you should call 0300 123 2224 and choose option 1 during office hours, same number and option 4 out of hours.