Charles criticises 'tragedy' of slow response to flooding

The Prince of Wales has criticised efforts to help those affected by the floods, saying: "The tragedy is that nothing happened for so long." He made the remarks during a visit to Somerset to meet victims and see the damage caused.

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Prince Charles offers support to flood-hit Somerset

The Prince of Wales (centre) steps from a boat after travelling to the flood-hit community of Muchleney. Credit: PA Wire
The Prince of Wales arrives to speak with members of the flood-hit community in the village of Stoke St Gregory. Credit: PA Wire
The Prince of Wales boards a small rescue boat to travel to a flood-hit community. Credit: PA Wire

No 10 tiptoes around Charles flooding comments

Prince Charles appeared to criticise efforts to help flood victims in Somerset during a visit to the region today. Credit: PA Wire

Downing Street have tiptoed around the comments from Prince Charles about how long residents in Somerset have had to wait to get a response to the flooding.

A spokesman said the Prime Minister "has repeatedly said that the situation is unacceptable" and "desperate."

He said the government is "working as hard as possible" to resolve the problem and added: "The local communities will have welcomed the Prince of Wales' visit."

Environment Agency warns of further coastal flooding

High sea levels combined with strong winds and large waves will increase the risk of coastal flooding along the south west and southern coasts of England tonight, the Environment Agency has warned.

Further rain could also cause river and surface flooding in the south and west of England as well as parts of the Midlands.

The Prince of Wales has visited local residents in Somerset today. Credit: PA Wire

There are currently 44 flood warnings and 157 flood alerts in place across England and Wales, with more expected to be issued along the Dorset coastline in time for the Wednesday morning high tide.

“With further river and coastal flooding expected this week we have teams working around the clock to protect homes and communities, and over 117,000 homes have been protected over the past three days," John Curtin, head of Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said.

“Strong winds and waves could be dangerous, and we would urge people to take care near coastal paths and promenades for fear of being swept away, and not to drive through flood water. We have particular concern for West Bay, Weymouth, Preston Beach and Chiswell in Dorset.”

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Charles: Tragedy is that nothing happened for so long

Prince Charles has said the "tragedy" in flood-hit Somerset "is that nothing happened for so long" to help as he met local residents, farmers and emergency services personnel who have been affected.

Speaking at a reception, the Prince of Wales said: "There's nothing like a jolly good disaster to get people to start doing something. The tragedy is that nothing happened for so long."

Earlier, Charles offered his support to the region by pledging a £50,000 donation which will be used to provide emergency relief grants to small businesses and those affected by the flooding.

Prince Charles visits cut-off village in Somerset

Prince Charles has been transported by boat to the cut-off village of Muchelney in Somerset.

Prince Charles making his way to Muchelney Credit: ITN

The prince was then given a tour of the area on the back of a tractor, to see for himself what locals have had to deal with in the flood-hit region.

Prince Charles is accompanied by emergency workers Credit: ITN

The Prince of Wales was meeting residents, farmers and business owners in his tour of Somerset.

Prince Charles meets Somerset's flood-hit residents

Prince Charles has met with residents affected by the fierce flooding in Somerset.

Prince Charles speaks with residents in Stoke St Gregory, Somerset Credit: Pool

The prince made his visit during a sunny spell, although another wave of bad weather is expected to hit the region between 3-pm today and 11pm tomorrow, according to Met Office forecasters.

Emergency service workers meet the prince on his visit to Somerset. Credit: Pool

The Prince will also talk to residents, farmers and business owners in Muchelney.

Lord Smith: Dredging rivers 'will form future plans'

Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith has said that dredging Somerset's Tone and Parrett rivers would have to be "an element" of plans to manage the flood risk in future.

Pumps active yesterday at Burrowbridge on the Somerset Levels to help alleviate floodwater in fields and drainage ditches. Credit: PA

Speaking to Sky News, Lord Smith said he had not yet visited the Somerset Levels since they were submerged, but has visited the area on three occasions over the past year and "will be going back there."

The Environment Agency chairman earlier admitted to ITV News that "we could have done better" in tackling the flooded areas in Somerset.

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