Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Friday, 19 September 2008 19:58 UK

Flood warning 'missed' 200 homes

Flooding in Morpeth (pic: Iain Ogilvie)
Morpeth was deluged when the River Wansbeck burst its banks

The Environment Agency has apologised after it emerged an alert system failed to warn almost 200 households in Morpeth of devastating floods.

More than 1,000 homes in the Northumberland town were flooded two weeks ago when the River Wansbeck broke its banks following torrential rain.

The agency said an automatic phone call system did not reach nearly 200 homes and it had begun an investigation.

An agency spokesman said human error was the most likely cause.

The Floodline alert system did work for more than 520 householders who had registered with the agency.

But spokesman Julian Carrington admitted that mistakes had been made.

He said: "We are obviously looking into our systems as we do after any major flood event.

"At the moment, the indication is that this was unfortunately human error.

"There were obviously media warnings put out, but we are very sorry for those individuals who did not receive that warning."

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07 Sep 08 |  England

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