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Flooding General Advice Clare Sampson 2014-02-25 20:19:20

***General advice and support***

Evacuating your home

Taking the decision to evacuate your home when it’s flooded is understandably hard. But personal safety is paramount.

 

If your home is flooded - without power supplies or working toilets - then that’s the time to go, and you can be assured there’s help available to ensure you can leave safely, find accommodation and even return to pick up prized possessions.

 

If you are leaving your property and you are connected to a domestic supply of LPG (orange metal gas cylinders) we recommend that you isolate the supply by disconnecting any cylinders in use at your property.

 

Take care when the waters recede

After being flooded, remember not to turn on gas or electrics until they have been checked by a qualified technician.

 

Members of the community affected by the flood waters are advised to contact their insurance companies who can support them after the flood waters recede.

If you have decided to evacuate your property, or have moved back in, please keep your District Council updated on your movements wherever possible. This helps keep people safe and protect properties. Contact details are at the bottom of this newsletter.

Guidance on how to recover from flooding

Public Health England has added another document to their flooding guidance catalogue, aimed at helping public health professionals in the recovery phase after flooding. The document, 'Guidance on recovery from flooding: essential information for frontline responders', is now available at http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/EmergencyResponse/ExtremeWeatherEventsAndNaturalDisasters/EffectsOfFlooding/

 

Sandbags

To request sandbags please contact Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane or South Somerset district councils using the contact details at the end of this update.

 

Handling sandbags – general advice

It you are involved in making or emptying sandbags, please make sure you are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, including gloves and steel toecap footwear. If the sand is dry, it is advisable to also wear safety glasses. 

 

Can you reuse sandbags?

Technically, sandbags can be re-used if emptied and dried out, but ideally, you should not re-used them unless you absolutely have to. If sandbags have come in contact with flood water they may be contaminated with untreated waste, chemicals, oil and gasoline, which could also contaminate other materials.

 

Welfare, benefits and Environmental Health information

This is provided for residents and businesses by district councils. They can give you help and advice around, temporarily homelessness, Council Tax reduction, housing benefits, business rates relief and Environmental Health services, such as dealing with septic tanks. Please use the contact details at the end of this update.

 

Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) refuse collections:  

Moorland / Fordgate - Working with local people and other agencies, SWP hopes to make weekly collections of refuse from Moorland and Fordgate. A central collection point has been established at Henry House, with refuse collected inside the floods on Wednesday, transported through the floods, and bins returned on Thursday.

 

Burrowbridge - Due to the impact of flooding on road access, SWP has split collections from Burrowbridge and, working with local people and other agencies, informed all residents. For some accessible properties, the collections remain on Wednesday as before; for others, the collection day has been changed to Thursday. Recycling will be collected this week, refuse and recycling next week (w/c 24/2). Subject to any further flooding or road closures, collections will continue on this schedule until the situation improves. Anyone in Burrowbridge who needs more information about their collection should contact the Parish Council or Taunton Deane Borough Council.

 

Muchelney - Working with local people and the Red Cross, SWP expects to make weekly collections of refuse from the corner of Silver Street, Muchelney, at 2pm on Thursday, subject to any further flooding or road closures. Anyone in Muchelney and Thorney who needs more information about the collection should contact the parish chair, Alastair Mullineux, or village agent, Carolyn Roche.

 

Transport Arrangements:

 

Muchelney - Please see latest news for Muchelney transport arrangements.

 

Huntworth to Moorland - An ATV is transporting people and supplies along this route. There is no timetable as this is a shuttle service responding to local requests, 5am to 12pm.

 

Oath - A third All-Terrain vehicle has arrived in Somerset and will be running in Oath between 5am 12pm. We will be working with the community to tailor the service to their needs.

 

Information Points

  • Community Contact Vehicles (mobile police stations) are operating in Burrowbridge and Moorland.
  • South Somerset residents can visit Langport Information Centre, Bow Street, for advice and information. Opening times: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 2pm, for help with district council services. A home visit will be arranged for people who can’t get to an office. Contact details at the end of this update, including details of other local community offices.
  • Weekly flooding surgeries are taking place at the Canalside Conference Centre, Marsh Lane, Bridgwater, for the next four Wednesdays, 6-8pm. Residents can talk one-to-one to representatives from the organisations providing help and support during the flood. The first surgery attracted more than 200 people. For further information please phone (01278) 435423.
  • Flooding Assistance Centre is open from Saturday 22 February at Bridgwater YMCA. The centre will offer a range of services and advice for people affected by, or who are likely to be, affected by flooding. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 2pm until 8pm, and Saturdays, from 10am until 4pm.
  • Somerset County Council (SCC) is now working alongside the Flooding on the Levels Action Group (FLAG) from a new base at the old Burrowbridge School. The centre will be run by council staff and FLAG volunteers seven days a week offering support to the local community. Flood affected residents can pop in between 9am to 5pm to request help, services (fuel, animal feed etc).

 

Getting around

You can view a map of the roads affected by flooding in the Somerset Levels and Moors online on the Somerset Council’s newsroom at http://somersetnewsroom.com (see the latest information section). You can also find all the latest information on SCC services, which have been affected by flooding or bad weather, and copies of the Community Updates.  

 

Fuel charges

The local authority has arranged the delivery of fuel (logs, coal, oil etc) to residents. A record is being kept of who gets what fuel delivered but payment is not being asked for on delivery. We will bill later, but can assure residents the charges will not exceed the normal cost for delivery. You should arrange fuel deliveries with your usual supplier or with Darch Oils (07970 400945). The British Red Cross can only help deliver fuel when supplies cannot reach delivery points.

 

Grants Available

Grants at a flat rate of £250 are available to alleviate the immediate financial hardship experienced by people whose homes are flooded or who were evacuated from their homes due to flooding. Also, grants of between £150 and £1,000 may be awarded to households directly and indirectly affected by the floods. Contact Somerset Community Foundation on (01749) 344949 or download the application form from www.somersetcf.org.uk.

 

Health FAQs

A list of useful FAQs covering a range of flood related health topics such as preparing food safely, washing and drinking water safely can be found at www.hpa.org.uk.

If you need health services, please call 111 or your GP for advice in the normal way. In a medical emergency you should still dial 999 and ask for the ambulance service.
 

Emergency accommodation
There is a rest centre, established by Sedgemoor District Council, at Westfield Church in West Street, Bridgwater (TA6 7EU). Details available from Sedgemoor District Council on 0845 4082540 or from the police number 101.
Donations
Donations have been pouring into the old Somerfield distribution centre at Huntworth Business Park, near Junction 24 in Bridgwater for the victims of the flooding. If you’ve been affected and need supplies, the centre has a variety of items that may be useful to you - from food and toiletries, to clothes and bedding. It's open seven days a week, from 10am until 3pm. Please bring ID with you just so that we can confirm your address.

Welfare of domestic and farm animals
If you need to move your animals – whether domestic or farm – as part of a possible flood evacuation, contact the police number 101 for further assistance and information.

Keep Safe

·         If sandbagging defences alongside rivers, be aware of the risk of fast flowing rivers. This also applies on flooded drives, roads, and pavements, where obstructions could include man-hole covers that may become dislodged.

·         A public access defibrillator is in Muchelney’s church hall.

·         High profile Police patrols continue and crime figures for the area remain much the same as last year. Remain vigilant and call 101 if you see anything suspicious.

·         Please don’t use petrol or diesel generators or similar fuel-driven equipment indoors, be it for heating, pumping or generating electricity. The exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which can kill. More advice about carbon monoxide poisoning is available on the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk). Anyone who is worried about their health can contact NHS 111.

 

Advice for parents

As the evening gets lighter children are out and about more, Public Health England and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue have issued advice to parents in flooded areas:

·         Keep children and the vulnerable out of flood water

·         Don’t let children play near flood water

·         Avoid walking or driving through flood water if possible

·         Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks

·         Take care or avoid crossing bridges when water levels are high

·         Take care crossing culverts as they are dangerous when flooded

·         Don’t eat food that has touched floodwater

·         Wash your hands regularly in clean warm water with soap or use hand gel

·         Sandbags and sandbag “walls” could be an attraction to children and may appear to be quite robust but youngsters should be urged to keep well away from them and certainly not climb or play on them.

 

 

Helpline

For independent advice on all aspects of flooding for home owners and advice on Insurance issues, phone the National Flood Forum Helpline on (01299) 403055 or visit www.floodforum.org.uk

 

***Useful contact numbers***

·         Police – 101 for general calls and 999 for emergency calls

·         Environment Agency - 0345 9881188 for flood issues

·         Sedgemoor District Council:

Telephone: 0845 408 2540 or local rate 01278 435435. Outside of these hours their 24/7 number is 0800 917 6520.

Email: customer.services@sedgemoor.gov.uk

Website: www.sedgemoor.gov.uk

·         South Somerset District Council:

Telephone: 01935 462462 Monday to Friday (8.45am to 5.15pm) with an out of hours service providing cover for emergencies outside of these times.

Email: info@southsomerset.gov.uk

Website: www.southsomerset.gov.uk

·         Taunton Deane Borough Council:

Tel: 01823 356356 with an out of hours service for emergencies

Emails: enquiries@tauntondeane.gov.uk

Website: www.tauntondeane.gov.uk

·         Somerset County Council:

Roads and Transport 0845 345 9155

Adult Social Care 0845 345 9133

Children & Learning 0845 345 9122

General Enquiries 0845 345 9166

·         Emergency accommodation - call Sedgemoor District Council or Police 101 number

·         Farming Community Network - Local 01934 712128 National 0845 3679990

·         Mindline - 01823 276892 Line open: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 8pm-12am

·         Samaritans Taunton branch - 01823 288 998 (24hr); Yeovil branch 01935 476455

·         Somerset Carers Network - 01749 836 633

·         24 hour health care advice - 111

  • Village Agents - Community Council for Somerset has Village Agents who can be contacted for advice and support, especially for the vulnerable:

- Alison Hoare: AHoareva@somersetrcc.org.uk 07798 703321. Moorland and surrounding area, Chedzoy, Westonzoyland, Middlezoy

- Audrey Mansfield: AMansfieldva@somersetrcc.org.uk 07870 577925. Creech St Michael and surrounding area including West Monkton, Ruishton, Lyng, Stoke St Gregory, Burrowbridge, Othery.

- Carolyn Roche: CRocheva@somersetrcc.org.uk 07968 521746. Muchelney area Hamdons, Montacute, Chilithorne Domer, Ash.

If you wish to contact the Village Agent manager sarah@somersetrcc.org.uk 01823 331222

 

Contacting the police

Don’t forget the Police’s new dedicated email address floodinginsomerset@avonandsomerset.police.uk and the form on the Police website, both of which can be used to tell us your requirements and can be acted on 24-7.

This is in addition to the usual 101 Police number.

 

 

Latest Flooding News Clare Sampson 2014-02-25 20:18:20

Somerset County Council

Community update – Somerset Levels Flooding

Monday 24 February 2014

 

For the latest version of this update, visit www.somersetnewsroom.com

For latest weather forecasts, visit the Met Office www.metoffice.gov.uk

For flood warnings, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call 0345 988 1188.

 

***Latest news***

 

 

Environment Agency (EA) update

The current episode of drier weather has meant that the EA has been able to open Monks Leaze Clyce and reduce water levels in the Rivers Parrett and Tone over the weekend. Water levels in the moors are now falling in the range 2.5cm and 30 cm a day. There is some rain forecast for the next few days, although not significant amounts, and the EA are optimistic that they will be able to continue to alleviate flood levels across the moors. This will be subject to further rainfall, and to the potential high tides, which will increase again from Saturday.

 

The EA has been collaborating with professional partners at Tactical Co-ordination Group to arrange refuelling of pumps at Saltmoor pumping station following the breakdown of the tracked fuel vehicle. An emergency delivery of fuel by military helicopter has been arranged, to replenish diesel supplies that were due to expire today.

 

Burrowbridge – FLAG/SCC HQ:

At Burrowbridge school FLAG and SCC are working together to make sure actions on the ground are coordinated and that requests for decision/action are passed to Silver Command. The school is manned by a lead SCC person who acts as the link with Silver Command - the phone number is 07990 084074. 
 
Call in to the school if you think SCC and FLAG can help with the flooding response efforts. We have a lot of useful phone numbers on our wall - for the FLAG volunteer coordinators, the J24 depot, SCC staff, etc.

 

Many donations have been brought to the school, however we are directing them to the depot at J24 where the supplies are being coordinated.

 

Council Tax, benefits and business rates:

Officers from Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) will be in Burrowbridge at FLAG/SCC HQ from 10am-4pm on Tuesday February 25 to offer advice on Council Tax relief, benefits advice and information on business rates. The officers will only be able to respond on behalf of TDBC but will be able to signpost people to other district councils if necessary.

 

 

 

New laundry facilities:

If you need to wash and dry any laundry, a new washing machine and tumble dryer has been installed at the FLAG/SCC HQ. These are both available free of charge, on a first come, first served basis for any residents affected by flooding. Thanks to generous donations, washing powder is also available. The HQ is open daily from 9.00am to 5.30pm.

 

Internet access:

Internet access is also available free of charge for residents affected by flooding to use at the FLAG/SCC HQ, again on a first come first served basis. This is ideal for sourcing essential flood related information, paying bills or completing necessary forms. Staff will be on hand to help guide you during opening hours, 9am to 5.30pm.

 

Transport update – Muchelney to Thorney

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue have been running the Unimog vehicles between Muchelney and Thorney. The Unimogs and officers will now return to their bases and will be replaced by two 4x4 vehicles operated by the County Council’s highway contractor Skanska. The handover will take place at noon on Tuesday 25 Feb. The transport schedule will remain unchanged until the flood water recedes. We thank Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue for their initial quick response and ongoing support over the last few weeks.

 

Transport for residents to get flood help

A minibus has been arranged to take people to and from the SCC/FLAG HQ at the old school in Burrowbridge, the Flood Assistance Centre at the YMCA in Bridgwater and Junction 24 Donations Centre in Bridgwater. The minibus will start tomorrow and the timetable on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be:

 

Departs 13.30: from Burrowbridge to YMCA, Bridgwater

Departs 15.00: from Junction 24 to YMCA, Bridgwater

Departs 16:00: from YMCA, Bridgwater to Burrowbridge

Departs 17:15: from YMCA, Bridgwater to Junction 24

 

On Saturdays the timetable will be:

Departs 09:45: from Burrowbridge to YMCA, Bridgwater

Departs 11:15: from Junction 24 to YMCA, Bridgwater

Departs 12:30 from YMCA, Bridgwater to Burrowbridge

Departs 14:30: from YMCA, Bridgwater to Junction 24

 

 

Advice for parents

As the evenings get lighter and children are out and about more, Public Health England and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue have issued advice to parents in flooded areas:

·         Keep children and the vulnerable out of flood water

·         Don’t let children play near flood water

·         Avoid walking or driving through flood water if possible

·         Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks

·         Take care or avoid crossing bridges when water levels are high

·         Take care crossing culverts as they are dangerous when flooded

·         Don’t eat food that has touched floodwater

·         Wash your hands regularly in clean warm water with soap or use hand gel

·         Sandbags and sandbag “walls” could be an attraction to children and may appear to be quite robust but youngsters should be urged to keep well away from them and certainly not climb or play on them.

 

 

Community Update for residents affected by flooding Clare Sampson 2014-02-18 20:57:09

Community update – Somerset Levels Flooding

Thursday 13th February 2014

 

For the latest version of this update, visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk

For latest weather forecasts, visit the Met Office www.metoffice.gov.uk

For flood warnings, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call (0345 988 1188).

 

***Latest news***

 

You said – we did

At the public meeting in Huntworth yesterday evening, you told us you were having problems getting through to our 101 number or being called back quickly enough. We’ve listened and have today created new ways that people who need help can get in touch.

 

We’ve set up a dedicated email address called floodinginsomerset@avonandsomerset.co.uk and we’ve created a form on our police website, both of which can be used to tell us your requirements. These will go directly to our 24-hour communications staff at Silver control in Taunton, where the floods effort is being co-ordinated, and will be monitored and acted upon.

 

You also said you were worried about security of properties that have been evacuated. We already have a robust patrol plan in place, with officers working across the area day and night, checking on homes and being alert to any possible suspicious people and vehicles. We’ve reviewed that patrol plan and will ensure we always have the right number of officers on the ground in the right place and right time.

 

Changes to Transport Arrangements

The Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is reducing their transport operating hours, due to a lack of demand for their service between 5am to 6am and between 11pm to midnight. The following information has been updated to reflect this change:

 

·                      Muchelney

- A Unimog vehicle continues to serve the community provided by the Fire and Rescue Service, operating from 6am to 11pm.

- The west route, serving the Drayton area and beyond continues to be supported by a BV206 - All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and Wessex 4x4, continuing to operate from 5am to 12pm. The County Council boat is serving the north towards Langport, running extended hours of 8am to 4.30pm.

 

·                      Huntworth to Moorland

- An ATV is transporting people and supplies along this route. There is no timetable as this is a shuttle service responding to local requests, running 5am to 12pm.

 

·     Oath

The County Council is looking at ways of providing a transport link to Oath. We are expecting the arrival of a third BV206 vehicle tomorrow which we hope to start using from this Saturday. In the mean time we are working with Wessex4x4 to asses the feasibility of providing a temporary service by means of Unimog. We are in communication with the community with a view to tailoring the service to the demand. We will keep you updated as we progress.

 

Weekly Information Surgeries starting today

Weekly Information Surgeries have been organised so residents can talk one-to-one to representatives from the organisations providing help and support during the flood. They will take place at the Canalside Conference Centre, Marsh Lane, Bridgwater, the first being held today at 2pm. After that they will take place on Wednesdays between 6-8pm and sessions have been booked for 19 and 26 Feb, 5 and 12 March. More will be added if needed. For further information please call 01278 435423.

 

Fuel charges

There has been some uncertainty about whether requests for fuel would have to be paid for at the point of delivery, free of charge or later. The local authority has arranged the delivery of fuel to those residents that need it. Please note that whatever fuel you have (logs, coal, oil etc) this is not free, a record is being kept of who gets what fuel delivered but not asking for payment on delivery. We will bill later, but we can assure residents that the charges will not exceed their normal cost for delivered fuel. No one will be worse off, and there will be no premiums added to the price you pay, the cost of which will be covered by your District Council.

 

You should arrange fuel deliveries with either your usual supplier or with Darch Oils (07970 400945). The British Red Cross can help deliver fuel when supplies cannot reach the delivery points only.

 

Grants Available

Grants at a flat rate of £250 are available to alleviate the immediate financial hardship experienced by people whose homes are flooded or who were evacuated from their homes due to flooding. Also, grants of between £150 and £1000 may be awarded to households directly and indirectly affected by the floods. For more information, contact Somerset Community Foundation on 01749 344949 or download the application form from www.somersetcf.org.uk.

 

District Council services

Your District Council can help those who may be made temporarily homeless and once the initial stage of this major incident has passed, they (alongside Somerset County Council and other agencies) will be helping communities recover. Other services District Councils can help you with include council tax reduction and housing benefits, business rate relief, and environmental health services – including guidance on dealing with septic tanks during this difficult time.

 

Health FAQs

A list of useful FAQs covering a range of flood related health topics such as preparing food safely, washing and drinking water safely can be found at www.hpa.org.uk. 

 

 

***General advice and support***

Making a donation or looking for help?

If you are in the flood affected area and think we can provide you with any supplies or practical help, please get in touch. We will try and match you up with the support and supplies at our disposal.

 

Whether you want to make a donation or seek help, you can call:

·         Somerset County Council on 0845 345 9166 or email generalenquiries@somerset.gov.uk  

·         The Police on 101 – they will pass you to the County Council if it’s not an emergency

·         Sedgemoor District Council (0845 408 2540/local rate 01278 435435)

 

Information Points & Public events

·         Community Contact Vehicles (mobile police stations) continue to operate in Burrowbridge and Moorland.

·         South Somerset residents can visit Langport Information Centre, Bow Street, for advice and information. Opening times: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 2pm. For help with South Somerset District Council services, a home visit will be arranged for those residents who can’t get to an office. (See South Somerset District Council website for details of our other local community offices.)

·         Sedgemoor District Council’s and Somerset County Council’s Full Council meeting is on Wednesday 19 February. A flood update will be discussed by members as well as the 6 week plan.

 

Evacuated your property?

If you have decided to evacuate your property, or have moved back in, please keep your District Council updated on your movements wherever possible. This helps keep people safe and protect properties. Contact details for District Councils are at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

Emergency accommodation

There is a rest centre, established by Sedgemoor District Council, at Westfield Church in West Street, Bridgwater (TA6 7EU). Details are available from Sedgemoor District Council on 0845 4082540 or from the police number 101.

 

Welfare of domestic and farm animals

If you need to move your animals – whether domestic or farm – as part of a possible flood evacuation, contact the police number 101 for further assistance and information.

 

Sandbags

You can get sandbags free of charge from your local district councils by calling:

  • Taunton Deane Borough Council 01823 356356
  • Sedgemoor District Council 0845 408 2546 or local rate 01278 435435 (Out of hours 0800 917 6520)
  • South Somerset District Council – 01935 462462 (24 hours)

 

Keep Safe

  • If sandbagging defences alongside rivers be aware of the risk of fast flowing rivers. These risks also apply on flooded drives, roads, and pavements, where obstructions could include man-hole covers that may become dislodged.
  • Keep out of floodwater wherever possible. Keep children and pets away from playing in it and ensure any cuts are covered by a plaster.
  • Make sure you and your family wash hands regularly with warm water and soap, especially before eating or handling food, wipe down food preparation surfaces and do not eat food that has been in contact with flood water.
  • Mains tap water is unaffected by the floods and is safe to drink as usual.
  • If you need health services, please call 111 or your GP for advice in the normal way. In a medical emergency you should still dial 999 and ask for the ambulance service.
  • A public access defibrillator is in Muchelney’s church hall.
  • Police are continuing high profile patrols to reassure people. Crime figures for the area remain much the same as last year. Remain vigilant and call 101 if you see anything suspicious.

·         Please don’t use petrol or diesel generators or similar fuel-driven equipment indoors, be it for heating, pumping or generating electricity. The exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which can kill. You should also ensure good ventilation if using portable indoor heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces. More advice about carbon monoxide poisoning is available on the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk). Anyone who is worried about their health can contact NHS 111.

 

***Useful contact numbers***

·         Police – 101 for general calls and 999 for emergency calls

·         Flood issues – Environment Agency on 0345 9881188

·         Emergency accommodation – Sedgemoor District Council 0845 4082546 or Police 101 number

·         Sedgemoor District Council contact centre - 0845 408 2540 or local rate 01278 435435. Outside of these hours their 24/7 number is 0800 917 6520.

  • South Somerset District Council contact centre 01935 462462 Monday to Friday (8.45am to 5.15pm) with an out of hours service providing cover for emergencies outside of these times.
  • Taunton Deane General Enquiries 01823 356356 , enquiries@tauntondeane.gov.uk

·         Somerset County Council:

o    Roads and Transport 0845 345 9155

o    Adult Social Care 0845 345 9133

o    Children & Learning 0845 345 9122

o    General Enquiries 0845 345 9166

·         Farming Community Network Local 01934 712128 National 0845 3679990

·         Mindline 01823 276892 Line open: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 8pm-12am

·         Samaritans Taunton branch 01823 288 998 (24hr); Yeovil branch 01935 476455

·         Somerset Carers Network 01749 836 633

·         24 hour health care advice - 111

  • Community Council for Somerset Village Agents who can be contacted for advice and support, especially for the vulnerable:

 

Parish Council Has PA System for Meeting Clare Sampson 2014-02-02 21:45:47

This should help members of the public clearly hear councillors debates.

Public Speaking is normally at the start of each meeting.