23 million bathtubs of water pumped back into rivers as flood threat eases in Somerset

The 'major incident' status declared on the Somerset Levels has been stood down as the risk of flooding has reduced.

On 17 January, the Environment Agency issued the warning as a precaution and told residents and businesses in the area to 'prepare for the worst'.

Recent dry weather and pumping floodwaters have brought levels down on the Somerset Levels and Moors. The A361 between Burrowbridge and East Lyng has also been reopened.

Jim Flory, from the Environment Agency, said: "We have been seeing an improving picture in Somerset over the last few days, with enough water to fill more than 23 million bathtubs a day being pumped back into rivers.

“Staff continue to work day and night to monitor and stage this major pumping operation as there is still lots of work to do and water to remove.

"We are grateful to all involved, including our partners, for their help and support.”  

Councillor Bill Revans, leader of Somerset County Council, said: “The decision to stand up a major incident was not taken lightly, but it was the right move at that time to ensure everyone was ready to take further actions to support our communities if needed. 

Flooding on the Somerset Levels Credit: ITV News Westcountry

“Thankfully, conditions have improved, and I am grateful to colleagues in the Environment Agency for their efforts to bring in additional pumps.

“We will continue to work closely with both partners and local people to monitor the situation and are well placed to react swiftly should the need arise.”

The A361 between East Lyng and Burrowbridge is now mostly clear of flooding but remains closed this morning (24 January) while sweeping and additional salting takes place.

It is expected to open later today and people are advised to check on the Travel Somerset online accounts for updates.