London : Around 140 homes were evacuated in southwest England today as floodwaters rose, while the head of a government agency was set to face a hostile reception on his first visit to the region, reports AFP.
Areas flooded for five weeks were set to endure more misery as heavy rain was forecast to fall on parts of Britain during the day.
Environment Agency chief Chris Smith was to visit one of the worst-hit areas, the Somerset Levels, in southwest England, where many residents say his organisation’s response has been ineffective and has led to “devastation”.
Royal Marines were sent into flooded areas and helped to evacuate 140 properties in the village of Moorland, after local flood defences were breached following another night of heavy rain, the Ministry of Defence said. The water in Moorland rose by around one metre (3.3 feet) overnight.
The Marines used two all-terrain Pinzgauer vehicles to carry residents to safety. Despite warnings from the police to leave the area, a handful of residents refused to desert their homes.
Jan MacEacharn said she had decided to stay because water had not yet entered her house and she had a horse that she could not abandon.
“Everybody in this village is in absolute devastation,” she told BBC TV. “There’s not a single person in this village that has got their home left.”