What should stop is farmers and local government cutting back or removing vegetation, trees, hedges that are natural defences to hold land in place and slow flood water.
This is the third example brought to my attention this week where the removal of 'natural' defences has been implictaed in flooding, or (in this horrible case) worse. The major and regular flooding events in nearby Ottery St Mary (always in the news for floods) have been argued to have been made worse by removal of hedges and trees in past years. Ditto floods from above Beer (neighbouring fishing village) owing to pig farming having churned up the land.
It is the same story up the Sid valley - 'improving' farmland by removing hedges, draining natural ponds that act as overspill capacity.
There was one case when I was a town councillor over 10 years ago - a major landowner wanted to 'improve' land by removing some old hedges - I forget the outcome but it was probably nodded through - he's a big noise in the ruling Party.
"Car slides down muddy field and crushes a family of folkies in their tent."
I've been warning about this for over 10 years as well.