Wednesday 5th February 2014 was another very wet day for the residents of the Somerset Levels. An ‘Amber’ weather warning of rain was issued by the Met Office, meaning more flooded houses and more heartache for the local residents living at Northmoor and Moorland where they have been battling the rising floods.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

Sandbagging at Moorland Village Hall

Much of the land on the Somerset Levels is only a few metres above sea level and lower than the level of the high spring tides. Before the Dutch engineers came up with a plan to drain the Levels in the 17th century it was called Summerlands, because you could only see the land in the summertime, which is where Somerset is said to derive its name. With more than 200mm of rain so far this year, over 25 square miles of land is under water, flooding scores of homes and farms. Flooding on the Somerset Levels was declared as a Major Incident on Friday 24th January, headed up by Cobra with a Gold, Silver and Bronze command structure.

Plymouth Brethren Rapid Relief Team

Flood barrier erection work for the Environmental Agency

The Rapid Relief Teams from Taunton and Yeovil were called on Wednesday morning to assist the Sedgemoor District Council preparing sandbags to protect properties. But as the weather deteriorated further, there was an urgent call from ‘Gold Command’ to divert to the Moorland Village Hall to assist with filling sandbags there. They joined a hard working team of Somerset County Council workers, Environment Agency workers and local residents who were fighting to save their houses from flooding. One local resident praised the work of the volunteers, and said that in all the 42 years he had lived at Moorland, he had never seen the flooding so bad.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

Emergency Services at the scene

The Royal Marines have been drafted in to help with the flooding issue along with the British Red Cross and many other voluntary agencies. Prince Charles visited the Somerset Levels and described the flooding as ‘shocking’. Prime Minister David Cameron also visited the area and gave much needed support and assurance to the distressed residents and praised the work of the Environment Agency and the voluntary agencies in the tireless work they have been doing.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

Building the sandbag walls

The Rapid Relief Team provided a second shift on Wednesday evening with an additional team called in from the Bristol RRT to swell the much needed manpower. The Environmental Agency requested help to erect a metal flood barrier to help save the houses of Moorland. This involved clearing a straight path for the barrier through the gardens, removing fences and walls, and cutting hedges down. The barrier needed to be bolted together, covered with polythene and weighed down with sandbags. The RRT teams worked late into the night until the flood barrier was completed. The Environmental Agency praised the efforts of the RRT for the united joint effort in this ongoing battle to keep Moorland above the rising flood waters.

Plymouth Brethren - Rapid Relief Team

RRT helping to assemble the Flood Wall late at night.

Financial aid of £10million from Central Government has been promised to the Somerset Levels for essential dredging of the River Parrett, River Tone and the River Yeo, which should drastically improve the capacity and flow rate of these rivers to reduce flooding in future. However, more rain is forecast and the water levels are still rising.

Click here to see BBC video


27 thoughts on “RRT WADES INTO ACTION AGAIN – Somerset”

  1. !!! says:

    Awesome work RRT !!!!!!! keep up the amazing work ! 🙂

  2. Peter says:

    And a little girl was crying “I want my daddy”

    1. H4Z3L. says:

      What were you thinking of here, Peter?
      ….. just wondering?

  3. travis says:

    Who is duck feet?

  4. travis says:

    YES there has not been any rain 4 a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. this weather..... :| says:

      haha! and it rained for the first time today in ages here in b’more! 😀 for the past several weeks the only stuff coming from the sky was either sleet or snow…..

    2. Auntique says:

      I am very happy for you that the rain has stopped but would you like some snow? It was supposedly going to pour rain here to saturate the huge piles of snow on the ground but apparently they forgot to give someone upstairs the memo and it’s dumping snow AGAIN! At least the temperature has risen to close to freezing rather than staying in the deep freeze like it has been for 6 weeks. Good job to all of you – well done!

    3. rigby says:

      wow, plus it’s literally starting to sun ‘stead of rain…hmm, maybe there’s a mistake

  5. me says:

    Sorry to hear about your floods, thanks for your prayers people, VIC has the rain now, first time this year!!! 🙂

  6. imsickofthisweather says:

    looks like we need the aussies weather and they need ours!
    keep up the good work!!

    1. from the USA says:

      and you guys can take some of our snow too, thank you very much!!! 😀

      -on behalf of all Americans who are getting really sick of snowstorms

    2. travis says:

      I know

  7. some1 says:

    Keep it up guys- great work!

  8. Wet Brit says:

    Hey can all you Aussies please specify a location when you pray for rain please?

    Thank you.

    1. Ella says:

      Sorry you’re feeling the wet, Brit, but don’t we all need rain to survive?
      Maybe you could invest in rainwater tanks and send some to us in Australia, we are parched!!
      Thank you.

    2. AUSSIE says:

      Wet Brit!,
      We pray for rain where it is needed – there are many areas needing it.
      We also need to keep in mind all those that are affected by the drought and dry conditions that need encouragement and support.
      Hope this helps.

    3. Loot says:

      Where it’s needed. Particularly parts of NSW and QLD, although NSW has had a good drop over the weekend…or at least part of it! Others may know better…:)

  9. Anonymous says:

    keep up the good work!!!
    Absolutely excellent

  10. Trout says:

    Great work!

  11. WJS says:

    Good work, great team effort. Sorry for those flooded out, glad you guys can help them. Well done to all those helping out, keep it up!!

  12. jane says:

    Excellent work everybody – we are indebted to you. Thank you so much for all your efforts, you wouldn’t know how much they are appreciated.

  13. Aussie says:

    Good of you UK RRT. Wish I could come across & help you.

  14. JL says:

    Excellent work RRT, wonderful to see such tireless labours working to help so many and supporting so many other voluntary workers, who are all working together to help those who are experiencing such difficult times.
    Keep it up!!

    1. EHL says:

      Very excellent work – RRT, emergency services & military personnel who have also been called in to help out in various areas – amazing response from the government. Do you know how high the water’s actually got?

    2. Derek says:

      In East Lyng the waters are about 7 -8 ft deep. In some cases the water is up to the hieght of the eaves of single story buildings, erm and its still raining!

    3. Duckfeet says:

      In the middle of Moorland village the deepest point on the road is 1300mm. A lot of the houses are lower than the road, and the last house out of the village has water nearly up to the gutter.

  15. Person says:

    Wow, this is some real serious stuff!!!
    Ready for tomorrow?? (Friday 14th) …as there is 12 hours of heavy rain forecasted!! Better get the waders on like!!
    I feel for those whose houses are being flooded (or about to be) though… not a nice job clearing up 🙁

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