A major incident has been declared as a ‘precautionary move’ in Somerset because of the risk of flooding, the Environment Agency said today (Wednesday).
“Enhanced pumping” began on Tuesday at Northmoor to clear water off the Somerset Levels.
A flood warning has been issued for Saltmoor and Northmoor and agency officers were offering advice in the village of Moorland.
A statement says the major incident is a “precautionary move” to help ensure “partners become more co-ordinated”.
Councillor Bill Revans, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “The decision to declare a major incident at this stage means we are well-placed to respond.”
“We will be supporting Environment Agency colleagues on the ground and taking every step to ensure our communities receive the help they need.”
The Environment Agency said it is currently responding to flooding incidents in Somerset, flood risk in the Bristol Avon area and monitoring rising groundwater levels in Dorset.
Additional pumps have been put in place at Saltmoor and Northmoor to reduce water levels along the River Parrett.
Ian Withers, of the Environment Agency, said: “The sight of water on the Somerset Levels and Moors is obviously a concern to those who have suffered from flooding before.”
“The situation is expected to improve when enhanced pumping begins and we continue to run the Sowy flood relief channel.”
“It is prudent to plan for the worst and going into ‘major incident’ mode is appropriate, so we coordinate with partners and everyone is ready to respond if needed.”