His comments came after the rising waters knocked out Gloucestershire’s main water treatment works and threatened an electricity substation.

Mr Brown told a No 10 press briefing: “Obviously like every advanced industrial country we’re coming to terms with some of the issues surrounding climate change.

“It’s pretty clear that some of the 19th Century structures we’re dealing with – infrastructure and where they were sited – that is something we’re going to have to review.”

He added: “This has been, if you like, a one in 150 years set of incidents that has taken place in both Yorkshire and Humberside and now in Gloucestershire and the Severn.”

Some 350,000 people were left without drinking water to their homes this week after the Mythe water treatment works near the inundated town of Tewkesbury was flooded.

Water company Severn Trent gave out bottled water and deployed more than 900 bowsers to keep residents supplied.

On Monday floodwaters came within two inches of spilling into the Walham Substation near Gloucester and leaving half a million homes without power.

A one kilometre wall was erected around the substation to allow the floodwater to be drained.

After the worst floods in 60 years, Mr Brown says the country must do more to improve flood defences and that includes looking at infrastructure, drainage and the siting of utilities.

This week he visited some of the worst hit areas of Gloucestershire and thanked emergency and rescue services for their work preventing flood waters shutting down Walham.

He has promised a report into the flooding situation later this year.

Warwickshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire have also been badly affected with parts of Worcestershire also under water.

David Gibbs

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