England floods: Somerset Levels' 'biggest' pumping operation

Floodwater being pumped
Image caption Floodwater is being pumped from the Somerset Levels at a rate of 10 tonnes per second

The "biggest ever" pumping operation is under way on the flooded Somerset Moors and Levels, the Environment Agency says.

To add to the 20 permanent stations, the organisation has brought in 16 extra pumps to help disperse the water, at a rate of 10 tonnes per second.

A spokesman said even if it does not rain, it will still take a month to remove the excess water.

Six flood warnings remain in place across the county.

The pumping operation is currently centred on the areas of Curry Moor, Moorland and Langport.

'Staff on 24 hours'

Flood water is pumped into the River Tone then carried to the River Parrett and into the sea.

The Environment Agency's John Buttivant said: "We are currently pumping at double our normal capacity.

"It's the biggest pumping operation that we've run in the area. We have staff working 24 hours a day and will do for the coming month.

"We intend to bring in more pumps as and when they become available, and as the river conditions allow us to pump more water into them."

The A361 road at Burrowbridge remains closed because of flooding.

About 100 people are still being taken by boat and tractor to get food after floods trapped them in their Somerset village.

Roads into Muchelney, near Langport, have been flooded for 11 days since heavy rain fell.

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