1,600 troops on standby

Southern England was bracing for further flooding on Tuesday, after hundreds more people were evacuated from their homes and 1,600 troops were put on standby to help with flood defences.

Further heavy rainfall over the coming week is expected to worsen what has been one of Britain’s wettest winters in years, with thousands of homes flooded and transport networks severely disrupted.

A row between government ministers has also reportedly broken out over the government’s handling of the crisis, after cabinet minister Eric Pickles appeared to attack the Environment Agency for failing to take appropriate action.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who has ordered officials to “get on with their jobs,” continued his tour of flood-hit Dorset and Devon and said he would hold a press conference on the government’s response later Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said 1,600 troops had been put on standby to help in flooded areas, while hundreds have already been involved in building sandbag defences since the weekend.

Around 850 homes have been flooded over the past week and thousands more are at risk. Some residents have complained of looting from evacuated properties.

Keywords: UK floods

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