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Prince’s visit is ‘a great boost’ to flooded Levels

07 February 2014

By a staff reporter


Battering: waves hit the sea wall and railway line at Dawlish, in Devon, on Tuesday

Battering: waves hit the sea wall and railway line at Dawlish, in Devon, on Tuesday

THE visit by Prince Charles to the flooded villages in the Somerset Levels has "lifted the spirits" of people who have been flooded and cut off for five weeks, a parish priest said.

The Team Vicar for the Langport Team Ministry, the Revd Jane Twitty, whose parishes include Muchelney, where access to the village is only by boat, met the Prince during his visit to the area on Tuesday.

"He was tremendously sympathetic," she said, "and people are so pleased that he came and was obviously very sorry. It's given everybody a great boost to know that he cares enough to come.

"He asked me if the church has been flooded, but I said it was built on the highest point in the village. He said they knew how to build churches in the old days."


The Prince's Countryside Fund, of which Prince Charles is patron, announced that it was giving £50,000 to help communities in the Levels recover. The Duke of Westminster has pledged a further £50,000.

The Price said that it had been a "tragedy . . . that nothing happened for so long".

The Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul has been open 24 hours a day throughout the weeks of flooding, and is being used to store food brought in by boat, and to serve tea and coffee to the firefighters who are manning the boats in and out of the village (News, 31 January).

Ms Twitty said that villagers were hopeful that water-levels were at least beginning to drop, although more heavy rain was expected. 

Coastal towns in Devon and Cornwall suffered from further flooding this week as high spring-tides, strong winds, and heavy rains overwhelmed sea walls. Police declared a major incident in Dawlish, in Devon, after the wall under the railway line collapsed, leaving the London to Penzance track suspended in mid-air.

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