LONDON – More than 800 homes in England and Wales have been flooded as heavy rain and strong winds battered the country and environmental officials warned of more downpours to come on Monday.
Two people have died since heavy rain began on Wednesday, including a woman killed by a falling tree in the southwestern English city of Exeter and a man trapped in his car in rising waters in Somerset.
In a Twitter message, Prime Minister David Cameron described the scenes of flooding in the rural southwestern region of Cornwall as “shocking”, and promised the government “will help ensure everything is being done to help”.
Parts of the Cornish village of Millbrook were reportedly under 1.5m of water and 40 homes were evacuated, a BBC reporter who lives there said, after torrents of muddy water swept through the village on Saturday.
Many communities were cut off after police shut water-logged roads in Cornwall and neighbouring Devon.
In Malmesbury in Wiltshire, western England, pub landlord Tom Hudson said he had water lapping at the door in the worst floods he had seen for 14 years.
Flood defences criticised
“It’s gone down a lot but I’m trying to get hold of some sandbags because more rain is forecast for later today,” he said.
“Houses across the road have been flooded to a depth of three or four feet, with furniture floating around in the rooms.
“I’ve been here 14 years and there were floods in 2000 and again in 2007 but this is much worse than either of those.”
Residents of the village of Kempsey in Worcestershire, central England, criticised new flood defences which they said had made the flooding worse, after pumps failed.
The Environment Agency said 816 homes have been flooded since Wednesday across England and Wales.