British Prime Minister David Cameron visited areas hard-hit by flooding on Monday after record rainfall in northern England and Scotland led to the death of one person and swamped about 2,000 homes.

The visit came amid criticism that money spent on flood defenses after major floods in 2005 failed to hold back the deluge in Cumbria, the hardest-hit county. The area got a month's worth of rainfall in a day - about 13.4 inches.

While local leaders demanded an investigation, Floods Minister Rory Stewart defended the government, arguing that defenses had slowed down the water to allow more time for evacuations.

The military has been helping evacuate people from their homes. Hundreds of properties are without power, and 40 schools are closed. - AP