A year after the major incident officially came to an end Somerset County Council is this week celebrating the incredible response to last year’s flooding on the Levels and Moors.
The widespread flooding was classified a ‘major incident’ between 24 January and the end of March last year. It is thought nearly 150 homes were flooded to some extent and many more were affected as roads and large areas of the Levels were inundated.
Emergency services, councils and other agencies came together to tackle first the emergency and then help communities recover.
A key response to the floods has been the development of the multi-agency Somerset Levels and Moors Flood Action Plan. Produced in just six weeks by a range of agencies including the County Council, district councils, the Environment Agency and Internal Drainage Boards; it sets out clear plans to reduce the frequency, duration and severity of flooding.
Since the plan was agreed in March 2014, its achievements include:
- Attracting more than £20m of funding from Government departments
- 8km of dredging on the Tone and Parrett (Environment Agency)
- Road raised to ensure access to Muchelney (County Council)
- First phase of Beer Wall works complete (County Council)
- Ringbanks at Thorney and Thorney Pottery (Internal Drainage Boards)
- £325,000 awarded through Repair and Renewal grants (district councils)
- Creation of the Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA), which is now overseeing the delivery of the Flood Action Plan, with £1.9m interim Government funding for its first year.