85 days after the first winter storm struck Somerset, and with flood waters drastically reduced, there is no longer a known risk to life, so the overall command of the 'Response' to the flooding crisis in Somerset has formally passed from the police to a joint 'Recovery' operation led by Somerset County Council.
Cllr John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “This is a big step forward for all our flood-hit communities, it is a clear indication that we are moving now to help people piece their lives and futures together again, rather than just working to keep them safe. Our thanks to everyone who has worked so hard for us all over the past weeks.”
There are still challenges for the agencies and for the communities they serve. This will in some cases require significant extra work and in some cases extra investment.
There is also a commitment to continue to engage with communities, to host the regular Wednesday evening public meeting at the Canalside Centre near Bridgwater; to provide roadshows into all flood-hit areas; to continue to provide bases in Burrowbridge and Moorland for residents to raise issues and request help and to improve communications from all agencies to the public.
A single point of contact for residents and businesses has been set up to be operated seven days a week on the phone number 0845 345 9166.