A major incident lasting eight days has been brought to an end as the risk of flooding in Somerset has reduced, the Environment Agency (EA) said.

It was declared on 17 January as a “precautionary step” as the threat of flooding increased in the county.

But with enhanced pumping and recent dry weather, water levels have reduced on the Somerset Levels and Moors.

Jim Flory, of the EA, said: “Staff continue to work constantly to monitor and stage this major pumping operation.”

“We have been seeing an improving picture in Somerset over the last few days, with enough water to fill more than 23 million bath tubs a day being pumped back into rivers.”

The multi-agency Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum said it had decided that the precautions were no longer required following the work which had taken place over the last week.

Councillor Bill Revans, leader of Somerset County Council, said it had been the right decision to declare a major incident and it had not been “taken lightly”.

“It was the right move at that time to ensure everyone was ready to take further actions to support our communities if needed,” he said.

“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,” added Mr Revans.

The A361 between East Lyng and Burrowbridge has now re-opened.

Pumping is still underway at several locations including Currymoor, Saltmoor, Northmoor and West Sedgemoor.

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

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