Flood-hit UK villagers show anger as bigwigs visit

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Associated Press

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 11:36 AM

LONDON (AP) — 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.

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