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PM sends sympathy to flood victims

David Cameron said his "heart goes out" to victims of the recent floods as he revealed he has suffered due to the stormy weather.

The Prime Minister said he believed Britain was better prepared for bad weather than in the past and more money was being spent on flood defences.

But he conceded there was more work to do and lessons to be learned as homeowners and businesses face up to further storms in the coming days.

Mr Cameron also spoke about the damage wrought by the bad weather at his home, resulting in a leak and a power cut.

He told ITV Meridian: "Well, something went wrong in the roof. We had a bit of wallpaper coming down, and drips into a bucket and a power cut.

"But it's being sorted, but I think it will probably involve a little bit of remedial work as well."

Mr Cameron said more was being spent on flood defences over this four-year period than the previous one.

He told the programme: "These are very difficult situations. Anyone who has had a home or office flooded knows what an absolute nightmare it is, and my heart goes out to those people.

"I know how dreadful it is. I would say that I think things are better in terms of our preparedness than in the past. The warnings made by the Environment Agency are better.

"There are many more people on the warning systems, and they measure the height of the rivers better than they did in the past. The flood defences are being built.

"We are spending more over this four-year period than the previous four-year period. Around 80,000 were properly protected by our flood defences this time, but is there more to do? Of course.

"Are there lessons to learn? Yes, absolutely, and we must learn them."

He denied he had "lost control" to energy companies who have faced criticism from some over the length of time it took to reconnect properties over Christmas while hiking bills.

Mr Cameron said: "There are strict rules under their regulations that they have to respond within a certain amount of time.

"They need to get out there and people back on, switching on their electricity. That is happening across your region.

"There are occasions when the flooding is so bad that you can't switch on someone's electricity because it would be dangerous so you need to deal with some of those issues first.

"But these companies need to do everything they can to comply with the tough regulatory system we have in place."


From Belfast Telegraph