Environment Agency: 'Could have done better over flooding'

The Environment Agency chairman has admitted to ITV News that "we could have done better" in tackling the flooded areas in Somerset. But Lord Smith defended the agency's priorities, saying they were working with a "purse that was not limitless."

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Water firms should address flooding issue, Labour says

Labour has attacked water companies for staying silent over the catastrophic floods affecting parts of the UK and said more should be done by the main firms to assess the level of investment in flood protection.

More should be done to assess the level of investment in flood protection by water companies, Labour said today. Credit: PA

Shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle told the Sky News Murnaghan programme: "We need to get water companies involved in looking whether or not their investment levels are adequate enough.

"The water companies are keeping very quiet at the moment, I must say, about this situation."

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Amphibious vehicles head to flooded Somerset

Amphibious vehicles are making their way to help the recovery efforts in flood-hit Somerset.

Amphibious vehicles - all-terrain vehicles that can access roads blocked by floods - being transported to Somerset Credit: ITV News

The vehicles are 1960s ex-military machines that have been adapted for civilian use.

The red vehicles are best used for transporting livestock. Credit: ITV News

They will "get anywhere and go anywhere" said James Leavelsey, head of the Staffordshire-based Leavesley Group, which is tasked with transporting the vehicles to Somerset.

The green vehicles are best used for transporting people. Credit: ITV News

Crowds turn out to watch River Parrett break banks

Extra sandbags have been put in place on the River Parrett in Burrowbridge over the last 24 hours, but the water level looked perilously close to overflowing this morning.

Large crowds had gathered - a combination of local residents and the media - to watch as a few leaks turned into a torrent of water that is now pouring down the road.

Residents fear it could make some of the roads impassable and that some of their houses may get cut off.

Three severe flood warnings in Midlands: River Severn

Flood victims will have a brief respite from the downpours today, but high spring tides and yet more heavy rain in the coming days mean their plight will continue for some time.

Forecasters are predicting a break in the bad weather today, but experts at the Met Office have issued severe weather warnings of winds of up to 80mph and heavy rain of up to 30mm (1.2in) for the South West, southern England, south Wales and Northern Ireland from tomorrow until Wednesday.

As of this morning the EA had three severe flood warnings, warning of danger to life, in place around the River Severn in the Midlands, along with 114 less severe flood warnings, caused by high tides and swollen rivers.

Three severe flood warnings: Threat of 'danger to life'

The Environment Agency has issued three severe flood warnings - where there is danger to life - along with 115 warnings where flooding is expected and immediate action is required.

There are also 301 flood alerts where flooding is possible.

There are three severe flood warnings Credit: Environment Agency

For the latest guidance in your area check the Environment Agency flood page.

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Hospital boat and pensioner crew stranded by storms

Six pensioners ready to board a tiny vessel to Kenya have been left stuck in Cornwall after the poor weather delayed them starting their journey of a lifetime.

The group form the entire crew of the tiny hospital ship Jubilee Hope.

The converted former Royal Navy boat has already been delayed sailing since earlier this week on her 8,500 mile "maiden voyage" to Mombasa.

The Jubilee Hope is stuck in Falmouth because of the severe weather. Credit: Vine Trust

The plan is to cut the vessel into two and rebuild it into a medical centre.

However, the ship's crew will have to wait for the stormy weather and floods to subside first.

A spokesman for the group said: "They are praying for good weather soon - as well as public support to pay for a total fuel bill of over £42,000 - to be hopefully raised whilst on passage.

"At just eight knots (10 miles per hour) the journey will take many months. Supporters are raising the cash for the fuel."

You can find out more and donate on the Vine Trust website.

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