Philip Hammond was the latest cabinet minister deployed to take a look at the floods today, as the government scrambled to show it had got a grip on the crisis.
However the defence secretary came under heavy fire from Berkshire locals, including Su Burrows in the village of Wraysbury.
Burrows complained to Hammond live on Sky News that the coordination of relief efforts had all been conducted by residents with little help from government agencies.
"We are not being communicated with," she said. "Why are the military not doing this, why are the Environment Agency not doing this?"
"It's been known across the press for the last 48-hours who has been in control here, we have not had any communication."
Hammond said the Ministry of Defence was able to provide "additional manpower" to help. But he was told it was now "too late".
More than 1,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, with many more braced to evacuate in the coming days as weeks of heavy rainfall shows no signs of abating.
Hundreds of military personnel have been drafted in to help in the worst-affected areas of south west England and the Home Counties, as politicians and agencies get embroiled in a war of words prompted by residents' anger at a perceived lack of action.
Around 400 weather warnings remain in place across England, with forecasters predicting further heavy rainfall on already-saturated ground.