Flooding emergency in England

23:15, Feb 11 2014
UK floods
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with resident Ray Connerlley, right, and Kwasi Kwarteng, the MP for Spelthorne, as they walk through flood water in Guildford Street in Staines-upon-Thames, southwest of London.
UK floods
A woman is floated by canoe through flood water after the river Thames flooded the village of Wraysbury, southern England.
UK floods
A resident's Wellington boots are seen splashing through water after the river Thames flooded the village of Wraysbury, southern England.
UK floods
The river Thames floods the village of Datchet, southern England.
UK floods
The front gate to a house is seen surrounded by water after the river Thames flooded the village of Wraysbury, southern England.
UK flood
A Staines man rescues his possessions using a supermarket trolley.
UK flood
Wheelie bins float adrift in flooded gardens in Worcester.
UK flood
Soldiers set to work constructing a sandbag barrier in Cookham.
UK flood
No matter the weather, there's always time for romance in Datchet, England.
UK flood
A flood warning road sign drifts submerged in water in Cookham, England.
England storm
Storm waves crash over cliffs at Sennen Cove near Lands End on February 12, 2014 in Cornwall, England.
England storm
Storm waves crash over the harbour wall at Sennen Cove near Lands End on February 12, 2014 in Cornwall, England.
England storm
Storm waves crash over cliffs at Sennen Cove near Lands End on February 12, 2014 in Cornwall, England.
England storm
Storm waves crash over the Longships Lighthouse just off Lands End on February 12, 2014 in Cornwall, England.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says that money is no object in the fight against the mass flooding that has hit parts of England and that he is cancelling his visit to the Middle East to oversee the effort.

Cameron said overnight (NZ time) "whatever money is needed for this relief effort will be spent" as Britain deals with some of its wettest weather in 250 years.

He also says a planned to trip to Israel in mid-February would be cancelled.

England had its wettest January since 1766 and its southwest coast has been battered repeatedly by storms.

Around 5000 homes have been flooded, with some remaining under water for more than a month. The River Thames burst its banks, flooding riverside towns upstream of London.

Britain's two-party coalition government is coming under increasing pressure over its response to the floods with critics saying the problems have been exacerbated by years of underinvestment in river dredging and flood defences.

Cameron in particular has endured heavy criticism from those affected for what they say is his government's slow response.

A total of 1600 troops are on standby to help, and some were  already at work filling sandbags in Wraysbury, where one resident  had a bitter exchange with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

Su Burrows, a volunteer flood warden, said the relief effort had  been left to residents like her and pleaded with Hammond for  military help to distribute sandbags.

David Cameron
IN DEEP: British PM David Cameron walks through flood water in Guildford Street in Staines-upon-Thames.

''I'm sorry, I am going to get emotional. There are 100 people of  this village currently working together, none of them (Environment  Agency) agents, not one,'' she told him in the exchange on Sky News television.

Burrows said later her blast seemed to have borne fruit, as 2000  sandbags were sent to Wraysbury, followed afterwards by 100  soldiers. 

- agencies

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