Britons rescued as flood crisis deepens

2014-02-06 16:59
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Storms wreak havoc in UK, France, Spain

Stormy weather has left homes without power, battered seafronts and damaged homes.

London - Britain was lashed by more heavy rain Thursday as firefighters rescued people from flooded homes and Prime Minister David Cameron scrambled to deal with the crisis.

The deluge continued a day after storms washed away a key coastal railway line, breached sea defences and sparked new flood warnings.

Forecasters warned that a "conveyor belt of storms" was due to sweep in from the Atlantic, adding to a winter of weather chaos that has seen the wettest January for a century in parts of England.

Firefighters in the stricken southwestern counties of Somerset and Devon rescued 14 people from homes and stranded vehicles late Wednesday and early on Thursday.

Rescuers in inflatable boats rescued four adults and three children from one house after a river burst its banks in Stoke St Gregory, a village that heir to the throne Prince Charles visited on Tuesday, a fire brigade spokesperson said.

British authorities issued two severe flood warnings signifying a danger to life for the Somerset Levels, the worst-hit area, where one village has been cut off from the world for a month.

The government's emergency Cobra committee was due to meet again on Thursday while communities minister Eric Pickles was due to address parliament on the issue.

Cameron personally took charge of the government's response on Wednesday after facing a growing tide of criticism for being too slow to aid stricken communities.

He announced an additional €120m for flood repairs and maintenance over the coming year.

Prince Charles himself said on his trip to the region that the "tragedy is that nothing happened for so long".

Wettest January

But the damage has kept coming, with the main train service connecting Devon and the county of Cornwall with the rest of Britain being suspended after part of the sea wall under the coastal railway line collapsed.

Pete Fox from the Environment Agency told the BBC that Britain faces a "conveyor belt of storms" that makes it difficult to get in to repair what has already been damaged.

In a further sign of chaos, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, the minister supposed to be dealing with the crisis, had to take several days off to have an operation for a detached retina.

Paterson was widely mocked for forgetting to bring his Wellington boots with him when he toured sodden Somerset last week, turning up instead in shiny black shoes.

Britain has been lashed by storms and heavy rain throughout the winter with parts of southern England seeing the wettest January since records began in 1910.

Read more on:    david cameron  |  uk  |  weather  |  flooding
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You have the ability to lead and take up campaigns that can sway the crowd and make things happen. There can be a slightly...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.