21 months after the floods the spirit of pulling together and helping each other is alive and well on the Somerset Levels.Read the full story ›
A rescue boat which was a lifeline for stranded villagers during last year's floods in Somerset is being given a new home this morning.
It was bought after the village of Muchelney was cut off by the water, but now the road has been raised to prevent it being flooded again. The villagers have decided to loan it permanently to Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) Search & Rescue in Burnham-on-Sea, which was first on the scene during the crisis.
The second phase of flood prevention work at Beer Wall on the Somerset Levels starts this week.
Four new culverts will be placed under the A372 between Othery and Langport to allow water to pass under the road.
Work was completed last month to raise the route and prevent a repeat of last winter, when it was flooded for weeks.
A £1.5 million project to improve flood defences on the Somerset Levels has been completed.
The purpose-built platform at Dunball Sluice, near Bridgwater, means flood water can be quickly pumped away. It also means flows in the Rivers Sowy, Parrett Tone and King's Sedgemoor Drain can be managed more efficiently.
A temporary platform was constructed at Dunball during the winter of 2013/14, which saw large parts of the Levels under water after storms. At its height more than 90 million tonnes of water covered an estimated 122 square kilometres.
The workis part of a £12 million programme of repair and enhancement of flood defence works across Somerset.
Final preparations are being made for the official opening of the newly raised road into Muchelney.
The road became an iconic image of the flooding on the Somerset Levels last winter - and the village of Muchelney was cut off.
The road is one of several projects to prevent future flooding on the Somerset Levels - including dredging eight kilometres of the rivers Parrett and Tone.
Communities along the Bristol Channel are bracing themselves for the highest spring tides in decades this weekend.
50 feet high tides - the highest seen for 20 years - are expected in Weston-super-Mare from this morning. Forecasters are warning of the possibility of coastal flooding and North Somerset Council's emergency teams have been put on standby.
We've got good sea defences in Weston-super-Mare. We have a Dutch dam, which is a dam that we put up manually, and we've also got a gate which we shut and that creates a watertight seal.
And that stops the water from pouring onto the road if the weather gets that bad.
Sea defences have been deployed in Weston super Mare because of forecast high tides.
The Dutch Dam at Knightstone Island will remain up until Saturday at least.
- High tide Friday 20 February at 0730 is predicted to reach 13.23m
- High tide Saturday 21 February at 0830 is predicted to reach 13.36m
Volunteers helping flood victims across Somerset over the past year have fallen out with the County Council over who should have control of public donations.
Emergency volunteers say they have been locked out of a warehouse full of furniture, cookers and domestic appliances, waiting for residents who are still homeless.
But Somerset County Council claim the friction is a simple misunderstanding, stemming from new lease terms.
Flooding victim Sally Vize believes the volunteers are better equipped to help at the warehouse than the council.
Work is beginning on phase two of the action plan to try to prevent another flood on the scale of last year's crisis on the Somerset Levels.
After a £6 million dredging project, attention is turning to managing the land further upstream. The plans are to slow the flow of water into the river system by digging ponds and planting trees.
We always knew that we'd be working to more of a medium to long term solution which would be the management of the land so tackling some of the problem at the source rather than the symptoms, if you like, of the water.
A main road in Somerset which has been closed for 11 weeks for flood protection works re-opens this morning.
The A372 at Beer Wall was flooded for several weeks last winter. Somerset County Council is confident the works will keep the road open if there is a repeat of those conditions.
There are more works to come next spring, when four new culverts will be installed as part of the 20 Year Flood Action Plan.