IT'S 10 years since the wettest winter for 250 years left large swathes of Somerset underwater for weeks.

Somerset Council is marking the anniversary of the 2014 floods that devastated communities, businesses and farming with the message that resilience and adaptation are more important than ever.

The then Prince of Wales was escorted through flood waters to the cut-off village Muchelney to meet residents and farmers on February 4 that year.

The following day, two severe flood warnings were issued for parts of the Somerset Levels, with residents in several villages advised to evacuate and Royal Marines deployed to help reinforce flood defences at Burrowbridge.

READ MORE: The 2014 floods on the Levels and Moors remembered.

Much flood defence and risk management work has taken place since at a cost of £80million as part of a 20-year flood action plan delivered by local authorities, the Environment Agency, the Parrett and Axe Brue Internal Drainage Boards, all part of the Somerset Rivers Authority partnership established to give he county extra flood protection.

Work has included:

•raising of a 500-metre section of a road into Muchelney;

•dredging stretches of the River Parrett;

•enhancements to the River Sowy and King’s Sedgemoor Drain system, including new river channels under the A372 at Beer Wall near Othery;

•development of plans for a Bridgwater Tidal Barrier;

•hundreds of natural flood management works to ‘Slow the Flow’ of water.

Despite this winter being the wettest since records began, the areas devastated in 2014 have not been badly affected.

READ MORE: Prince Charles visits the flooded Somerset Levels in 2014.

More flood risk management works are planned and the SRA is currently developing a 10-year Strategy and Flood Action Plan.

However, the impacts of climate change mean resilience and adaptation to flood risk will need to play a bigger part in Somerset’s future.

The drenching at the start of 2014 flooded 165 homes, mostly on the Levels and Moors, lasting weeks in many cases.

Between May 2023 and the end of January this year, almost double that number of homes across the county flooded as a result of four storm.

Cllr Dixie Darch, Somerset Council lead member for environment and climate change and SRA board member, said: “Clearly flooding remains an issue that Somerset will have to live with as the impacts of climate change become apparent.

“All the science tells us that weather events like the storms we have seen in the last 12 months are likely to become more common and more severe.

“That means organisations and communities must work in partnership to build resilience and adapt to the challenges of flooding.”