Somerset Levels floods: As it happened on Friday 31 January 2014

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Last updated 31 January 2014

BREAKING As it happened

  • Updates on the flooding in Somerset
  • Including pictures and reaction
  • Listen: BBC Somerset


Chris Sandys, BBC News

As military personnel remain on standby to help on the flooded Somerset Levels and more persistent rain is forecast from midday, we will bring you the latest from the affected areas.

BBC Somerset is broadcasting a special programme with reporters in areas such as Muchelney, which has been cut off for almost a month.

STANDARD 06:39 Weather warning

An amber weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for south-west England, valid from midday until 03:00 on Saturday.

Bad weather

It says heavy rain will affect the region and warns of "significant disruption" from flooding across the Somerset Levels.

TWEET 06:49 River Parrett

BBC Somerset's Ben McGrail tweets: "Check out how high the Parrett is at Burrowbridge this morning. I'm live here on @BBCSomerset today - 95.5 FM / 1566 MW"

Flood water on the River Parrett

STANDARD 06:59 Floods in figures

Villages such as Muchelney have been cut off for almost a month after heavy rain began to fall at the start of the year.

Some 11,500 hectares (28,420 acres) of the Somerset Levels are flooded by about 65 million cubic metres of water.


Andrew Plant, BBC News

Three hundred tonnes of sand have turned up in Burrowbridge, destined for sandbags. But no-one is sure who ordered it.

Lorries deliver sand to Somerset

STANDARD 07:20 Massive disruption

BBC Somerset reporter James Craig, in Muchelney, says: "The overriding sense is that people are just frustrated and weary.

"Broadly speaking the situation is improving. The water is going down and the road between Thorney and Muchelney is now passable to 4X4 vehicles, but the disruption to people's lives has been massive."

STANDARD 07:29 Long-term plan

Following last night's Cobra meeting, the government's emergency response committee, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said good progress was being made on a 20-year plan to deal with flooding on the Somerset Levels.

He hopes the plan will be agreed sooner than the six-week deadline he had previously set.

TWEET 07:39 Wonderful wellies

Thorney Lakes tweets: This has to be one of the only positives of living in Muchelney. Pictures and the fun the children have.

Children splashing in flood water

STANDARD 07:51 Weather stats

It has been a wet month in the South West, but only the fifth wettest on record (so far).

The Met Office said 222.6mm of rain had fallen across in the area and south Wales from 1-28 January.

Nearly 70 years ago, in 1948, the record was set when 244.3mm of rain was recorded in the same region.

STANDARD 08:00 Round-up

Latest on the flooding in Somerset:

  • Flood waters have inundated the Levels, including villages and hamlets, for a month
  • An amber weather warning is in place for heavy rain later
  • A major incident was declared a week ago and the government has pledged support

More on-air on BBC Somerset who have reporters in both Muchelney and Burrowbridge - listen live.