Environment Agency staff in Wessex are prepared for the high tides expected from Sunday 10 to Friday 15 August, coupled with the potential arrival of Tropical Storm Bertha on Sunday 10 August.
In preparation for this there will be increased activity on the River Parrett banks over the next few days. The areas in particular aredownstream of Northmoor Pumping Station around Newhouse farm up to
Burrowbridge. This is a precautionary and proactive approach – the highest tides predicted are a metre lower than the highest tide witnessed earlier this year.
Current forecasts from the Met Office show that we are expecting Tropical Storm Bertha to impact the south west on Sunday, although its track and impacts are still not clearly defined. We are also seeing a set of high tides starting on Sunday evening, peaking on Tuesday (12 August). We will be deploying sandbags at those locations which pose the greatest risk, based on last winter’s flood events. The work will be carried out by our operational teams and our contractors, Team Van Oord and Land & Water.
*THE VERY WORST EFFECT WE ARE EXPECTING IS TO SEE A SHORT PERIOD OF OVER-TOPPING IN LIMITED LOCATIONS AT THE PEAK OF THE HIGH TIDES. *
The latest forecast from the Met Office is that we could see 30mm of rain falling in 3 hours on Sunday which could lead to surface water
As well as deploying sandbags, all of our pumping stations and sluices/gates/penstocks are fully operational. We are also carrying out
pre-tide inspections of critical tidal defences as well as on-tide inspections and we have additional staff on standby, if needed.
As with all tidal and rainfall risks, we will continually monitor the ever-changing weather information received from the Met Office and the
National Flood Forecasting Centre to ensure that we are fully prepared.
We have already activated plans, and are in discussion with local authorities and emergency services. Our staff are also ready to provide
warnings to communities where we understand there may be a risk of flooding.
We provide flood warnings based on the latest information and collect real time information to verify flooding should it occur using our team
along the coast, this data is then used to improve our understand of risk as we continually seek to improve our flood warning service.
Recently completed and ongoing remedial works along the coast and river systems are also constantly checked during these times of greatest flood risk and contingency plans are in place to react as necessary.
Our Incident Hotline phone number is 0800 80 70 60. If you have any concerns during the high tides, please call this number and ask to speak to the Flood Incident Duty Officer for Somerset.
Customer Communications Team
Manley House, Kestrel Way, Exeter, Devon EX2 7LQ
Direct Dial: 01392 352400