FloodsU.K. facing flood crisis, as prime minister warns victims they are in for “long haul”

Published 11 February 2014

David Cameron warns flooding victims that they are in for a “long haul,” as the weather service says the weather will get worse this week, leaving thousands more homes at risk. There is a growing anger at the government by residents who complain that in addition to lack of preparation and response – thus, there were many complaints that sandbags intended for the worst-hit areas being “hijacked” and unavailable to stem the rising water – government agencies have not provided enough security after resident were ordered to evacuate, leading to looting of vacant homes. Officials have predicted that thousands more homes will be flooded over the coming days and said restoring the country’s battered rail network could take months.

Thousands of British homeowners whose homes and communities have been inundated by flooding are in for a “long haul,” Prime Minister David Cameron said, warning that it will “take time before we get things back to normal.”

The prime minister, responding to a growing chorus of criticism of the government’s handling of the crisis, said he will “do everything” in his power to help residents amid.

We have to recognize it’s going to take time before we get things back to normal,” Cameron said. “We’re in for a long haul, but the government will do everything we can to coordinate the nation’s resources.

“If money needs to be spent, it will be spent; if resources are required, we will provide them; if the military can help, they will be there. We must do everything, but it’s going to take time to put these things right.”

The Telegraph reports that the disorganized and ineffective response to the flooding has caused different cabinet ministers to point fingers at each other’s department as the chief culprit. The Environment Agency came in for the harshest criticism.

After Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, sharply attacked Lord Smith, the Environment Agency’s chairman, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, criticized what they described as the “blame game” being played by members of the government.

When asked what message he had for the members of his cabinet, Cameron said: “A very simple message, which is everybody needs to get on with the vital work of bringing all of the nation’s resources to get our road and rail moving, to help people who have been flooded, to plan for the future and to learn all the lessons of the very difficult situation we’re in. That’s what everyone needs to do, that’s what’s going to happen in the days and weeks ahead.”

Defense Secretary Philip Hammond was embarrassed after he was berated, on live TV, by an angry volunteer who claimed that residents affected by the flooding have been abandoned.

Hammond insisted that the government has “a grip” on the situation, but the volunteer, for seven long minutes, offered detailed examples of how the government had failed to respond to the emergency.

More than 1,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes, with many more homeowners being told the prepare for evacuation in the coming days as weeks of heavy rainfall shows no signs of abating.