Residents in Somerset hamlet fear they're being 'sacrificed' to stop flooding in bigger villages

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Residents in a Somerset hamlet fear their homes are being sacrificed to prevent flooding in other bigger villages.

For people living in Stathe near Burrowbridge, the recent weather warnings have brought back traumatic memories - with most almost losing their home to severe floods nine years ago.

The floods in the last few weeks have meant people living in the hamlet are worried that they could be used to protect villages like Moorland - a bigger village also devastated by floods in 2014.

Bill Chaplin, a resident in the hamlet, remembers the destruction the last floods brought, and is worried about what more rain could spell.

He said: "We're frightened to death at the moment because it just ruins your life. It takes over your life. You can't think of anything else

"You don't want to go anywhere because you're frightened that you won't be able to get back.

"We were cut off here pretty badly. We could only go up one road - so yes, we're terrified."

Julian Taylor, also a resident in the hamlet, was forced to flee his home in 2014.

This week, under the threat of more flooding, he moved his furniture upstairs and is terrified about flooding devastating his home once more looking at a line on his living room door - a reminder of how high the water got nine years ago.

The line on the living room door reminds Julian of how high the flood water reached. Credit: ITV News

He said: "I would be foolish to deny we haven't had anxiety. We've been very anxious about this happening.

"But, you know, now we're beginning to feel better as the water's going down. But it's it's not a good time.

"You have to be aware that you are living on the Somerset Levels.

"You know, you don't go and buy a house next to a church and then moan about the bells, do you? However, if the bells are ringing 24 hours a day, you'd have a cause for complaint."

The pumping station in Stathe is currently being used to get water off the moor and protect homes.

Chris Jones, a local flood warden, says the pumps haven't been on enough in the last week, with the water came uncomfortably close.

"The properties that are at risk at West Sedgemoor have been at risk, or they were underwater in 2014, and they should be pumping wherever they can.

"In between these highs and lows, the river you can see now is down probably three foot on what it was a couple of days ago. They've had two or three days where they could have been pumping."

The Environment Agency says it's been working with residents in Strathe to reassure them that work is being done to prevent wide-scale flooding in the region.

Ian Withers from the Environment Agency said: "We've got a really delicate balancing act to do, you know, to get all the water all over these moors, through the rivers that go to the sea in a way that doesn't put anyone else at risk.

"And that doesn't damage the riverbanks and the sluices and the structures that keep it all in the river.

"And what we can't do is simply pull the plug on every moor and let that deluge go down to sea. We've got to be very very careful.

"We will continue to work round the clock to get the water level down in places like Stathe and make sure those communities are safe."