FLOOD Alerts were in place across Wellington and West Somerset on Thursday, February 22.

The Environment Agency issued an alert over high water levels on the Washford River, presenting a ‘continuing risk of flooding.’

In guidance last updated on Wednesday, February 21, the Environment Agency told nearby residents to avoid using low lying footpaths. In a statement they said:

“The level on the Washford River remains high and the risk of flooding continues. The river levels on the Horner Water, River Aller, Hawkcombe Stream, Monksilver Stream and Doniford Stream are all forecast to rise tomorrow morning.

“Areas most at risk include land and roads near the Washford River, the Doniford Stream, and the Monksilver Stream. 

“River levels are forecast to respond to rain on Thursday, and Flood Warnings may be required. We are continuing to monitor the rainfall and water levels closely.

“Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses, and remain aware of water levels and weather conditions. You should avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water.”

An alert was also in place for the River Tone, with the Environment Agency saying water levels and rainfall remained under close observation. In a statement they said:

“We continue to monitor the water levels and rainfall closely. Avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads which may be flooded. Check the weather conditions, and don't walk, cycle or drive through flood water.”

It came as Thursday saw Somerset and much of the south of the country covered by a Yellow Warning for rain. In guidance last updated on Wednesday, February 21. the Met Office said it was possible that homes and businesses could be flooded and that it was likely there would be interruptions to power supplies and other services.

The Met Office forecast that rain would continue into Friday, before the weather would give way to dry cloudy skies the following week.

On Thursday there was minor localised flooding around Wellington and Milverton, with deep but largely passable puddles of water seen on some roads.

Somerset Council’s traffic advice service issued guidance to motorists on social media, warning against driving through water. In a statement posted to social media Travel Somerset said:

“Remember, 30cm of water is enough to move a car. Do not drive through flood water and never tamper with road signs. It is not worth the risk.

“Please think before you travel, plan your journey and drive with caution. Check your travel route at the Somerset Council website.”