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Only the toughest can navigate the roads here, the BMW has drowned

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 08, 2014

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As the long clear-up began at devastated Moorland and Fordgate this week, receding water levels signalled a change of transport for another Somerset community.

For the boat that has served Muchelney, for weeks, provided by Somerset County Council and manned by Devon and Somerset firefighters, was replaced on Thursday by a fully-tracked BV206 all-terrain vehicle.

Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, David Hall, said timings of the service will remain unchanged.

He added: "The flood waters are receding, which is good news, but there could be hidden dangers under the surface so don't please don't attempt to drive through floodwater until it is safe to do so and the roads have reopened."

At Moorland and Fordgate a volunteer army is helping residents as they venture back to inspect their properties, but many will not be able to return permanently for months.

Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council are taking the lead and a volunteer army organised by flooding action group FLAG is helping.

Retired couple Mike and "Buttons" Price were among villagers assessing the damage at Moorland on Thursday, and waiting for a professional assessor to visit yesterday. They had recently fitted a new kitchen in their bungalow, and spent thousands replacing central heating. Their home suffered a 3ft inundation and many of their possessions have been ruined.

"One freezer floated off into a neighbour's garden and the BMW has drowned, it's a write-off," said Mr Price. "Photographs that were kept in my dear old pop's desk will be ruined to damnation and I think the desk itself will be too. Hopefully, insurance will cover it all. It's very disappointing, but it could be worse."

Somerset County Council has revealed proposals for how to use the new £10 million grant from the Government to tackle flood-related road problems. They include clearing roads of silt and debris and making urgent safety repairs; deep cleaning the drainage system and undertaking electrical repairs; repairing bridges, other structures and rights of way; rebuilding and resurfacing roads using more flood-resistant surfaces where required; and installing flood gates and diversionary signage to manage flooding.

By the end of the year adaptations to the A372 near Langport could also be made to accommodate a larger channel for the Sowy waterway.

The funding will also help with transport studies to improve the resilience of the A361 and other road schemes, including raising sections of a road link into Muchelney.

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  • StanStill  |  March 09 2014, 7:14AM

    As usual HMG arrive well after the worst has occurred. Labour and Tory governments have tried to save money by not dredging, while giving 12 billion away every year to foreign countries. Charity begins at home Dave, not in some despots pocket in Africa, or used in India to send a rocket to Mars.