UK & World News
Environment Agency Boss Regrets Flood Response
The head of the Environment Agency has admitted his organisation has not done enough to prevent the flooding in Somerset.
Lord Smith said he regretted the agency's response and repeated his insistence that dredging of rivers in the Somerset Levels was not a complete solution.
He told Sky News: "We probably haven't done as much as we should have done up to now and I regret that - but we've had very difficult choices to make.
"We've had reducing budgets to cope with. What we now need to do is work together with others - it's not just something for the Environment Agency - we need to work with others to address the issues for the future."
Earlier, Lord Smith - writing in The Daily Telegraph - warned Britain might have to choose whether it wanted to save "town or country" from future flooding because it was too costly to protect both.
More flood warnings are in place ahead of another band of wet weather.
Some homes in Somerset have been under water for more than a month, with Met Office figures showing it has had a whole winter's worth of rain in just two months.
More than 60 pumps are in use across the Levels, according to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. The combined pumping of one million tonnes of water per day is enough to fill 400 Olympic swimming pools.
Mr Paterson confirmed that the Parrett and Tone rivers will be dredged to help ease water levels "as soon as it is safe".
He also said that - in the longer term - a barrage might also be built on the Parrett.
Some 7,500 properties have been flooded since December, said Mr Paterson, who defended the Environment Agency and added that 1.2 million homes had been protected by existing defences.
The flooding nightmare has been made worse for some, with reports of "suspicious people and vehicles", including "people out in boats" in the middle of the night.
One farmer was left without heating or hot water after around 600 gallons of domestic oil was stolen from his farm in Moorland overnight from Friday into Saturday.
During the same evening, two fire service quad bikes were taken from Burrowbridge.
Police have said they are aware of the reports and have urged residents to remain "alert".
The warning comes as the Prime Minister's official spokesman said David Cameron wanted a premium rate government telephone helpline, set up by the Environment Agency for flood victims, to be "scrapped as quickly as it possibly can be".
They are having to pay up to 10.5p a minute from landlines and 41p a minute from mobile phones to call the 0854 number for advice, with all the money going to a private firm, according to The Sun newspaper.
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.