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Protecting Somerset from floods: Giant pumps tested

Giant pumps tested to help protect Somerset from flooding Credit: ITV News

The Environment Agency has been testing giant pumps designed to help reduce the risk of a repeat of last year's flooding on the Somerset Levels.

The pumps will be on permanent standby at Dunball, ready to suck more than a million tons of water day out of the King's Sedgemoor Drain.


Somerset Levels flood prevention work begins again

The Somerset Levels were badly flooded last winter. Credit: ITV News West Country

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.

Anti-flooding action plan in Somerset reaches second stage

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.

– Ben Thorne, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group
Plans are being implement to slow the flow of water into the Levels

Flooding on the Somerset Levels a year on

Flooding on the Somerset Levels a year ago Credit: ITV News

This weekend marks a year since a "major incident" was declared on the Somerset Levels.

The worst floods ever seen there prompted huge support for local residents, some of whom have still not returned to normal life. But this winter many of them are looking forward with new confidence.

You look at it now and you can see that the river's flowing quite nicely. There's a big capacity there and I feel really happy to be living where we live.


Calls to end building on the floodplain

Flooding on the Somerset Levels last February Credit: PA

Insurers have warned flood defence spending must rise to a £1 billion a year over the next decade to prevent scenes like those which devastated Somerset last winter.

The Association of British Insurers is also calling for an end to building new homes in flood-risk areas.

It says some 20,000 new properties are being built on the floodplain each year, including 4,000 in places where there is significant risk of flooding.


A372 in Somerset re-opens after flood protection works

The Somerset Levels were badly flooded last winter. Credit: ITV News

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.

Government promises £15.5m for flood defences

More than £4 million will go to flood prevention on the Somerset Levels & Moors Credit: PA

The Government will spend £15.5 million on flood defences in Somerset over the next six years.

More than £4 million (4.2) will be spent on the Somerset Levels and moors.

7,000 properties are expected to benefit from the money - which is part of at least £35 million committed to Somerset over the next eight years.

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