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River Thames floods claim 2 lives and hit thousands of homes near London

England’s Environment Agency (EA) has issued severe weather warnings across Britain as surging flood waters threaten thousands of homes according to the Express. Many in the South West have moved their livestock and abandoned their homes. Two lives have already been claimed by the severe weather; the first a seven year old child from flooding in Chertsey, and the second was an adult kayaker in Powys.

Flooded home near the Thames on February 10, 2014.
Flooded home near the Thames on February 10, 2014.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The EA said Berkshire and Surrey have flooded properties as deadly surges from the Thames overflowed its banks. Severe floods warnings from Datchet to Shepperton Green have been issued due to extremely high river levels that are expected to continue rising.

In Surrey, police estimate that another 2,500 homes are in danger of flooding and military assistance has been provided to the residents there. A stable owner claimed that she was forced to put down her four horses due to repeated flooding that resulted in a loss of 20,000 pounds. The flood waters covered the fields and came into the stables again. The horses were old and it was a hard decision, but the owner said they had lived a good life.

In the meantime, Government ministers and the EA are pointing fingers in a “war of words [that] has sparked” between them concerning the handling of the devastation. EA chief executive Paul Leinster indicated the agency will “continue to work around the clock to protect lives, homes, businesses, communities and farmland over the coming days.” Communities Secretary Eric Pickles blamed the EA for giving bad advice, but “admitted the Government made a ‘mistake’ in not dredging rivers to prevent flooding…”

Farmers and others in the region have stated that repeated calls for dredging was made as far back as six months ago, but funding for the dredging was declined.