England walloped by historic floods

It’s a “summer of suffering” in England, as severe flooding wreaks havoc across the country. This weekend, floods in the central and southern part of the country left more than 350,000 people without drinking water and forced the evacuation of hundreds from their homes. The worst part, observers say, is that the waters are still rising — and are on track to outpace record flooding from 1947. The crisis follows a June flood in the north that killed seven people and left 7,000 at least temporarily homeless. With the swollen Thames and Severn rivers threatening to burst and criticism rising almost as quickly, newly installed Prime Minister Gordon Brown flew over the affected areas and pledged to increase flood-defense spending. “Obviously like every advanced industrial country we’re coming to terms with some of the issues surrounding climate change,” he said at a press conference, noting that the government would review the future siting of infrastructure and homes with climate in mind.