A GROUP of determined residents in Moorland are refusing to leave the flooded village in an effort to protect their homes.

The residents, from 15 properties, have formed 'The Northmoor 15' action group and have been facing a daily battle to keep the flood water at bay.

But one member of the group, Carolyn Scriven, told the Mercury the villagers are racing against time to build up a barricade, as water levels are expected to rise in the next 24 hours.

She said: "It's been really bad for the past two weeks. We're holding our own at the moment but the situation is pretty dire.

"My neighbours and I live right next to the water and a large metal barricade has been built through the gardens, about 20ft from my back door. Earthworks are being built up to form a further barrier of mud and dirt - my back garden looks like a battlefield.

"Now we've been told the water could rise up to a maximum of 6.2 metres above sea level within the next 24 hours. This could back up across the moors and overtop into the Bridgwater and Taunton canal."

While many people have been evacuated from Moorland, The Northmoor 15 have refused to leave over fears their homes will be destroyed with no one on the ground to protect them.

Carolyn said: "I doubt whether the people who have been evacuated from their homes will be in them again by Christmas.

"If we had left, our homes would have been overtaken by water and it would just have been left to the insurance to sort out. People have been very scared, but we are not leaving."

At first, Carolyn said the remaining villagers felt they had been abandoned. But as word got out about the situation in Moorland, the residents have been "overwhelmed" by people lending their help.

"Our MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger has been marvellous and has raised awareness for us," she said. "He's made phone calls and got the help in and we're feeling a little bit better now we have defences built.

"FLAG has been fantastic and volunteers have helped build up sandbags. People have donated food for us. The generosity of some has been amazing."

The group is frustrated that action was not taken sooner to address the floods before they led to people being forced from their homes.

Carolyn added: "It makes me so angry that they're throwing money at this now - they should have anticipated this and not assumed anything. Now it's going to cost millions to put it right.

"Until then, we're taking every day as it comes."