Menu

WORLD

Flooded English villagers berate environment chief as deluge goes on

In this undated picture provided by National Rail, a railway line severely damaged by the high seas caused by winter storms is seen in Dawlish, Devon, England. Engineers have been working through the night at Dawlish to shore up a seriously damaged section of sea wall before another Atlantic storm system arrives on Saturday. The damaged railway line has meant much of Devon and Cornwall has been cut off from the rest of the country by rail. (AP Photo/Network Rail) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVESThe Associated Press

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.