Access restored as Highways teams respond to flash flooding damage

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Scenes from Whitestaunton – left after crews cleared debris – right before (courtesy of Roger Harris)

Access has been restored to a cut-off village and thousands of tonnes of debris has been cleared following Monday’s severe flash flooding in the Chard area.  

Somerset County Council’s Highways Teams has been working tirelessly on the ground since Monday evening’s (28 June) floods which caused widespread damage to some local roads.  

Roads were left impassable due to the volume of tarmac and debris washed up by the flood waters but by Wednesday afternoon access was restored to Whitestaunton on a temporary running surface. Debris from the badly damaged White Ash Lane was cleared and stored nearby for removal with the support and help of the local community. Elsewhere, Scrapton Lane in Combe St Nicholas and Court Mill Lane in Wadeford suffered similar damage. It’s expected to take Council’s contractor Milestone a week to remove all the debris.  

Teams have also been inspecting the surrounding area and assessing and planning what will be a comprehensive repairs programme with the contractor, while ongoing work on inspecting gullies in Chard and the surrounding area continues, with a view to starting clearance work imminent.

It’s not just Chard that’s been affected – sites as far as Winsham and West Crewkerne were also badly hit.  

Somerset County Council’s flood team is investigating following Monday’s extreme weather event, which not only saw unprecedented levels of water cascading through streets, but also watercourse levels rising which caused flooding in outlying villages.  


Damage in Whitestaunton – courtesy of Roger Harris

“This extreme weather has caused extraordinary damage to local roads and our teams have been doing brilliant work to clear up in preparation to carry out repairs,” said Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways. “ I’d also like to thank local people for their initial efforts on the scene which were fantastic.

“This may take some time but please be assured we are responding as quickly as we can. “At the heart of this are the people who have had homes and businesses flooded which is awful and our thoughts are with them. Seeing the local community rallying round has been fantastic and we’d like to thank them for their patience as our teams continue to work flat out to help keep our communities moving.”    

Please continue to report any damage via Somerset County Council’s online portal www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/report-a-problem-on-the-road/ or email countyroads-southsom@somerset.gov.uk

Public urged to report flooding to flooding@somerset.gov.uk. Visit Flooding information (somerset.gov.uk) for more information. South Somerset District Council has set up a help and information centre at the Guildhall in Chard today for anyone affected by flooding.

If you’ve missed a  recycling/refuse collection due to the flooding please report it as a missed collection to Somerset Waste Partnership will get out two days if possible. If anyone has lost boxes or bins because of the flooding, replacements can be requested free of charge using My Waste Service feature on the SWP homepage, or by calling SSDC.
For more information on roadworks, live traffic and major projects visit www.travelsomerset.co.uk  and follow @TravelSomerset on Twitter and Facebook.