Published: January 24, 2014
Somerset declares ‘major incident’ over flooding as more rain arrives

Somerset County Council has declared a 'major incident' for all areas affected by flooding across the county.

Earlier in the day, Sedgemoor District Council made the same announcement for its own flood-affected areas.

It follows forecasts of further heavy rain coupled with high spring tides next week that could cause more flooding.

Kerry Rickards, chief executive at Sedgemoor District Council, said: "Several Sedgemoor communities have been severely affected by the floodwaters for some weeks now."

"With significant rainfall expected over the coming days we feel this situation needs to be escalated as a major incident."

"Sedgemoor District Council would like to extend its continued sympathy for the residents, business owners and farmers affected by flooding."

The authority is providing sandbags to affected homes and portable toilets where septic tanks have become overwhelmed. It is also on standby to provide temporary accommodation and rest centres if needed.

Somerset County Council has backed Sedgemoor’s decision. Deputy council leader David Hall said: "The Met Office is forecasting more rain this weekend leading to an increase in flood water levels across the county."

"We also expect further high tides next week that will make the situation worse. We will continue to support residents affected by floods. We have recently extended our boat service for stranded residents in Muchelney and Thorney, we are helping communities strengthen their flood defences and will continue to ensure vulnerable people are safe."

Pictured: Burnham's BARB boat crew in action during this month's floods

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