'Major incident' declared in Somerset amid fears of further floods

Some villages cut off by floodwater by almost a month

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The Independent Online

A “major incident” has been declared in Somerset as the waterlogged county braces for yet more rain and high tides.

Some villages have been turned into islands by floods that have cut off homes, businesses and farms for almost a month.

Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council, which covers the areas worst hit, made the announcement to allow emergency evacuations.

If needed, rest centres can be set up and groups brought in to help people get food and supplies.

The Met Office issued an amber warning for rain on Sunday and warned people in the Somerset Levels to be prepared for further flooding.

Villagers tire of island life on flooded Somerset Levels

The situation will be worsened by high spring tides along the coast.

David Hall, deputy leader of Somerset County Council, said:  “We are helping communities strengthen their flood defences and will continue to ensure vulnerable people are safe."

Boats are the only method of transport in some villages, which residents have dubbed “islands”.

Tina Backwell told The Independent: “It started out as a nuisance for the adults and a bit of fun for the children, but it really has gone on far too long now.

“Other towns have built new homes or got flood defences. Where has all that water ended up? Here, that’s where.”

The council said it was campaigning for an “effective long-term solution”.