Thu, Feb 06, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Prince Charles visits towns affected by the deluge

AFP, LONDON

Britain’s Prince Charles steps off a boat with the help of police as he arrives at the flood-hit village of Muchelney in Somerset, England, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

More bad weather left thousands of British homes without power on Tuesday, hours after Prince Charles visited flood-hit villages marooned by the wettest January for more than a century.

The southwest of England, already on the receiving end of a winter battering, was worst affected with 14,000 properties left without power, according to Western Power Distribution.

The company said “airborne debris” carried by 120kph to130kph winds had damaged overhead lines.

“We will be working into the early hours to restore power providing it’s safe to do so,” a company spokesman said.

Prince Charles earlier met residents, farmers and emergency staff in the stricken county of Somerset.

Charles, who often speaks out about environmental and rural issues, pledged £50,000 (US$81,800) from his Prince’s Countryside Fund to help the region.

Charles, 65, received a round of applause from locals as he arrived in the town of Stoke St Gregory.

The Prince of Wales was later due to travel by boat to the village of Muchelney, which has been marooned by floodwaters for more than a month.

“Prince Charles can’t change anything, but people are pleased that he’s coming,” said Catherine Denny, a retired school teacher.

The British Environment Agency issued four severe flood warnings for the region, indicating that the conditions posed a danger to life.

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