Massive Flooding In England Devastates London Suburbs

Thousands of homes south of London are being evacuated, and some worry about the threat flooding poses to the city.
Posted at 8:14 PM, Feb 10, 2014

​It's the worst flooding England has seen in decades.

After weeks of heavy rains, the River Thames has been bursting past its banks all week, leading to widespread damage south of London. And some parts of the country have been feeling the rain's effects for almost two months now. (Via The Telegraph)

The heavy floodwaters have taken at least two lives, including that of a 7-year-old from the southern suburb Chertsey. (Via The Mirror)

Some angry citizens are blaming the catastrophe on incompetence by the U.K.'s Environment Agency. The critics include one man who told the Daily Mail, "To come down and see what devastation has been caused and then to try to defend and even praise the Environment Agency was tantamount to laughing in our faces."

And while Prime Minister David Cameron tours the flood zone, the blame game is in full force back at Parliament in London. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles even apologized on behalf of the Environment Agency.

"I'll apologize. I'll apologize unreservedly, and I'm really sorry we took the advice of what we thought we were doing with experts." (Via BBC)

With dangerous rains poised to continue through the week, many are worried about possible flooding in the center of London.

Preventing what would be a major disaster is the Thames Barrier, a series of steel gates stationed east of London and the only thing stopping Piccadilly Circus and other landmarks from being swamped. (Via Channel 4)

If the barrier were to burst, much of London would be underwater, including parts of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, as shown here in a graphic created by the Environment Agency in 2011.

On the whole, more than 8,000 homes have been flooded since mid-December and property damage could reach $1 billion. (Via Bloomberg)