Flood alerts remain in place after extreme winter weather hits Somerset
Two flood alerts remain in place this afternoon in Somerset following a day of extreme winter weather yesterday.
Parts of the county were left under six inches of snow yesterday morning, while heavy rain and hail also pounded the region, causing flash floods and hazardous driving conditions.
Several flood warnings were issued by the Environment Agency but, as of 2.30pm this afternoon, that had been reduced to just two alerts.
Flood alerts are less severe than warnings, and advise affected residents to be prepared for possible flooding.
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One alert included areas around the Lower Rivers Tone and Parrett, including West Moor, Hay Moor, Curry Moor, Stan Moor, Salt Moor and North Moor.
A second alert incorporated the Upper River Yeo, Rivers Cam and Wriggle in South East Somerset.
Both remain in place due to the possibility of further showers on already saturated ground.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: "Showery conditions will persist for the early part of this week allowing river levels across the area to fall towards winter base flow levels.
"With saturated catchments, all rivers will remain responsive to further rainfall."
The freakish weather was caused by an area of low pressure moving slowly east on Saturday night and Sunday morning, followed by another depression heading in from Ireland.
In its wake, the weather system left up to three inches of snow perched picturesquely on still-blooming shrubs in some parts of Somerset and Dorset.
Greg Dewhurst, a forecaster at the Met Office, said some parts of the region had suffered nearly an inch of rain as bands of heavy showers swept through.
Meanwhile, the Environment Agency issued dozens of flood warnings and alerts, mainly around the Devon and Somerset border, over the weekend.
The worst of the wintry weather occurred around North East Somerset, where planners said they had been caught out as no snow was forecast. Kelvin Packer from the district council there said two teams had been sent out to clear and grit the roads.
“Unfortunately the snow came down immediately off the back of a band of rain and with everything being so wet it's just sat on the roads as slush.”
Areas of North Dorset, including Sherborne, were affected and there was snowfall at Axminster and near Okehampton in Devon.
Mr Dewhurst said there was some brighter weather on the horizon this week.
“The picture will slowly improve,” he said. “Showers will ease today, giving much brighter weather, although it will still be chilly with temperatures struggling to get into double figures.”
For the very latest flood information from the Environment Agency, view our panel below...