The world's largest sponge was dramatically dropped onto Somerset last night by the Environment Agency's specialist aerial bombardment unit. Officials have reportedly been instructed by Ministers to 'think the unthinkable' in order to limit flood damage after standard responses such as sandbagging and beseeching the Almighty proved ineffective.
It is understood that Ministers vetoed alternative emergency plans to ask local residents to each hold a small amount of flood water in their cupped hands until summer.
An official Environment Agency spokesperson said "I completely reject the accusation that this is a panicked response. It is a testament to hard working front line staff that a sponge of such magnitude has been manufactured in the short period since 1:30am Sunday morning when we first thought of it.
We have a range of contingency plans should the operation fail including the forced requisition of the entire UK supply of that green stuff florists use...you know that stuff that's nice to press."
The previous holder of the record for world's largest sponge was a Mr E Pickles of Yorkshire.