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  1. ITV Report

The Moorlands floods: a timeline

The Somerset Levels were flooded for weeks Photo: ITV News Westcountry

December 23rd - 31st 2013 Storms batter the South-West causing widespread disruption.

The Environment Agency issues warnings of flooding on the Somerset Levels and the Local Government Association advises people to look for emergency accomodation.

January 3rd 2014 Cattle and horses are rescued from a farm on the Levels.

Water cuts off all major roads into Yeovil.

Roads became rivers Credit: ITV West Country

January 6th 2014 Homes are being evacuated.

The village of Muchelney has been cut off since January 3.

Anger is growing - residents and MPs accuse the Environment Agency of neglecting the rivers and failing to carry out much needed dredging.

January 24th - 29th 2014 Environment Secretary Owen Paterson visits, it's the first official Government visit to the area.

The National Farmers Union speaks out about the destruction of farmers' land.

Environment Secretary offers military help to aid affected areas but Somerset County Council decline saying the fire service is currently coping.

Prime Minister David Cameron announces that rivers in Somerset will be dredged once the flood water has gone.

Water surrounding homes in Moorland Credit: ITV West Country

February 4th 2014 The Prince of Wales visits Somerset to meet victims of the floods.

He says "there's nothing like a jolly good disaster to get people to start doing something. The tragedy is that nothing happened for so long."

It was reported that the visit from Prince Charles provided a boost to morale Credit: ITV West Country

February 5th 2014 'Danger to life' flood warnings are issued for parts of the Somerset Levels. 150 properties are being asked to evacuate at North moor and Fordgate on the Somerset Levels.

Council officers and Police are going door-to-door knocking.

A rest centre has been set up at North Petherton Bowls Centre.

Rescue crews knock on doors in the middle of the night, urging villagers to evacuate Credit: ITV West Country

February 7th 2014 Flood waters in Moorland and Fordgate on the Somerset Levels rise by up to a metre in a few minutes in the early hours of the morning, affecting 80 homes.

60 homes are evacuated and 30 residents, mostly living in properties on higher ground, decide to stay put.

20 people use the rest centre at Westfield Church in Bridgwater overnight.

This crisis is hugely traumatic for our residents and communities – I know that everyone in Somerset is thinking of them at this time and I want to thank all those people who have been helping those so badly affected, whether emergency services, military personnel, our fantastic volunteers and particularly our council staff and those of other local authorities and agencies. On the ground they are working incredibly hard to protect communities and keep people safe.

– CLLR JOHN OSMAN, LEADER, SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCIL
A house in Somerset is seen with high flood defences around the garden Credit: ITV West Country
Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency comes under heavy criticism Credit: ITV West Country

February 8th 2014 There are calls for Environment Agency Chairman, Lord Smith, to resign but he refuses to do so and also refuses to apologise causing outrage.

Prime Minister David Cameron says "we must do everything we can to help these people".

February 10th 2014 The embattled chairman of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith, claims the agency is being "used as a political football for a good media story" in the recent flooding.

He's responding to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles' comments in an interview in which he suggested the government had "relied too much on the Environment Agency's advice".

Huge pumps are brought in from the Netherlands to help tackle the flood water.

Pipes for the pumps arrive on trucks Credit: ITV News

February 12th 2014 Prime Minister David Cameron holds emergency COBRA meeting to discuss the current flooding situation.

The meeting includes representatives from the military and the Environment Agency. Credit: ITV News

Council tax is suspended for all Somerset's flood victims.

February 13th 2014

David Cameron tells councils across Somerset and the West Country not to charge for sandbags. He tweets “I’ve told local councils they should not charge for sandbags in flood-hit areas – central government will pick up the cost.”

February 14th 2014

Residents of Burrowbridge start moving their cars using a floating pontoon.

Flooded roads have isolated sections of the village. Credit: ITV West Country

Dutch pumps set to work pumping water out of the King's Sedgemoor Drain.

When working at full capacity they move 15 tonnes of water per second. Credit: ITV West Country

February 17th 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron has unveils a£10 million package of support for businesses hit by the floods.

Groups of offenders are drafted in to help residents on the flooded Somerset Levels by filling hundreds of sandbags.

Work carried out by offenders on Community Payback schemes. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

February 21st 2014

The response from all over the country after an appeal for help for farmers is 'overwhelming'and the NFU takes over the aid operation.

Livestock is being given temporary shelter at farms on higher ground Credit: ITV West Country

April 20th 2014

A service is held in a Somerset church for the first time since massive floods devastated the area.

Hundreds of people gathered in Moorland to mark Easter Sunday.

It's around 3 months since the church and houses around it were flooded and many families are still unable to return home.

The first service back marked Easter Sunday Credit: ITV West Country

June 2014

Some farmers who've had their application for flood damage funding accepted are still waiting for the money.

James Winslade's 840 acre farm at Moorland near Bridgwater was almost completely flooded Credit: ITV West Country

I've spent eleven thousand on grass seed so I could have done with it now rather than later on really but fortunately the bank manager's been very kind in extending the overdraft and we've borrowed some money as well. We've had tractors and machinery written off and had to hire tractors in the interim until we replace them so that's an added cost.

– James Winslade, Farmer

November 2014

Flood victim Bryony Sadler finally moves back into her house on the Somerset Levels.

She and her family were forced to leave their Moorland home in February Credit: ITV West Country

A fifth of the 126 flood victims at Moorland on the Somerset Levels aren't able to get buildings insurance. Others see huge hikes in premiums even if they didn't flood.

Moorland at the height of the floods Credit: ITV West Country