Flood-hit UK villagers show anger as bigwigs visit

LONDON (AP) — Flood-hit villagers have lambasted Britain's environment chief as he visited part of southwest England where thousands of acres (hectares) have been underwater for more than a month.

Environment Agency chairman Chris Smith has been criticized for the failure to dredge rivers on the low-lying Somerset Levels, where farmland has been inundated and villages cut off. Smith said he was very proud of the work his staff had been doing "in the face of the most extreme weather."

But farmer Jim Winkworth said he was "bloody mad" that Smith had not apologized. Prime Minister David Cameron also visited the area Friday Bouts of rain, high tides and strong winds have pounded Britain since December, and this week washed away a stretch of the main rail line linking London and the southwest.

Related Headlines

  • UK's Cameron cancels Mideast visit over floods

    British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted Tuesday that money is no object in the battle against the widespread flooding that has engulfed parts of England. Canceling a ... 

  • River Thames breaches its banks near London

    The River Thames has burst its banks after reaching its highest level in years, flooding riverside towns upstream of London. Residents and British troops piled up sandbags to ... 

  • Britain braces for massive storm

    Driving rains and high winds lashed the U.K. on Sunday evening, as officials warned that the storm forecasters are calling one of the worst in years will cause widespread ... 

  • Monster waves slam into UK after US storm

    Waves up to 27 feet (8.2 meters) high slammed into Britain's southwestern coast on Monday, as lashing winds and heavy rain battered parts of the U.K. and coastal residents ...