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UK Winter Storms 2014: Government Response

Information and advice from government departments and agencies about the winter storms causing disruption to parts of the UK

Published on 10 February 2014

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by The Rt Hon David Cameron MP


London, England

On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a meeting of COBR to discuss the latest situation.

The Prime Minister visited Somerset on Friday to see the impact of the floods and meet local residents, farmers and emergency teams.

Photos of the Prime Minister’s visit to Somerset

Government departments, local authorities and agencies are working together to do everything they can to help communities at risk.

Find out if your area is at risk of flooding with the Environment Agency Live Flood Warning map - this is updated every 15 minutes.

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A section of the railway, adjacent road and the sea wall has been destroyed by the sea, washing away the foundations on which the track was built. There is also severe damage to the track and platforms at Dawlish station.

The line between Exeter and Plymouth will remain closed until further notice. The train operator First Great Western is procuring additional road coaches to deliver a more robust replacement service.


Military personnel, mostly Royal Marines, are helping by deploying sandbags and improving flood defences. They have now moved to Moorland where they are using 2 Pinzgauer tracked vehicles to help evacuate 140 properties. Military planners are working with relevant agencies at a range of locations to scope what further support the military can offer.

The Environment Agency continues to work day and night, alongside the emergency services and other local specialist agencies to get communities ready for the bad weather. They are running the biggest pumping operation ever seen on the Somerset Levels, with around 2.9 million tonnes of water being pumped out every day – that’s the equivalent of 3 Wembley Stadiums.

Specialist pumping equipment has been ordered to clear roads, in addition to the extra pumps government has already sent, and they will keep looking at all options for pumping and dredging. But no amount of pumping will solve the current problem completely because the land is so saturated, so dredging will start as soon as the waters recede enough for it to be safe to do so.

In addition, demountable flood defences and sandbags are being given out and the Agency continues to clear waterways to ensure as many properties as possible are protected.

Work has already begun on an action plan to deliver robust defences against floods in Somerset over the next 20 years.

Government Announcements

Sunday 9 February

Saturday 8 February

Friday 7 February

Thursday 6 February

Wednesday 5 February

Follow #floodaware and @envagency on Twitter for latest news and information.

Be prepared

Latest information and advice about the severe weather and floods from government agencies and partners.

Environment Agency

For advice on the risk of flooding in your area and how to prepare, visit theEnvironment Agency’s website or follow them on Twitter: @EnvAgency.

Met Office

For the latest severe weather warnings visit the Met Office website or follow them on Twitter: @MetOffice.

Highways Agency

For advice on travel by road visit the Highways Agency website or follow them on Twitter: @Highways_Agency.

Local Councils

Use this tool to find your local council and their advice.

National Rail

Check with National Rail Enquiries for the latest updates on service disruptions.

Who to call if you have a power cut

Your chosen electricity provider sells you energy, but it’s your local distribution network operator who maintains the power lines that connect your home or business to the network.

Take a look now and make a note of the number of the company that covers your area in case you need to use it at some stage. Further information: Who to call when you have a power cut

Further Information

Numerous government departments and agencies are working together to provide support throughout the severe weather. In addition to those listed above, further information and advice can be found on the following websites and Twitter channels:



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Posted 2014-02-10 14:02:00