Somerset County Council’s highways team had their busiest weekend since the 2014 floods as storms caused problems on many roads across the county.
On Saturday there were more than 100 weather related callouts with 40 reports of flooding in the south Somerset area alone. There were hundreds of further callouts yesterday and last night with several trees removed from the highway.
Current key road closures are*:
Update 18/2: All roads have now reopened
(*) Please note this is not a definitive list. The situation is changeable but we will do our best to keep this information updated.
You can find information about flood prevention and preparation here
Heavy rain on Saturday evening saw temporary closures on the A39 at Billbrook and Carhampton and the A396 Dunster to Timberscombe. There were further reports of flooding on the A356 Crewkerne to Martock, A371 Shepton Mallet to Wells, A367 Nettlebridge and the A38 at Blackbird Bends.
Other major issues included a sewer collapse on the B3191 at Blue Anchor seafront, and a road closure at Vellows Way at Luxborough necessary due to severe structural damage to the road caused by the volume of flood water running across the highway.
Curry Rivel primary school experienced flooding over the weekend and Highways staff helped provide sandbags on Sunday evening. The school is closed today (Monday).
Matters were further complicated by an amber warning for potentially freezing temperatures on Saturday night which meant parts of the county needed gritting. Staff were therefore needed to drive gritters at a time when emergency teams were already at full stretch.
Cllr David Fothergill, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “To say the weather has been challenging over the weekend would be an understatement but once again our highways teams have done a brilliant job in reacting to very serious situation.
“Many of them have given up their weekends to help co-ordinate our response and help keep people safe.”
One major problem has been with members of the public ignoring or even moving road closure signs to get through.
Cllr Fothergill added: “Road closure signs are there for a reason. I know it might seem inconvenient but driving through even a few inches of floodwater can be extremely dangerous and can invalidate your insurance – is it really worth the risk?”
Storm Imogen is set to continue today with Met Office warnings in place and winds expected of up to 80mph. If you spot a problem on the road, please report on 0300 123 2224.