The British royal, 65, was making the comment as he visited some of the worst affected areas that had been hit by serious flooding in the past few weeks.
"The tragedy is that nothing happened for so long," said Prince Charles at the reception. Locals are said to have become frustrated at how slow the recovery process is taking.
Prince Charles, a keen campaigner for the countryside and wildlife, was no doubt delighted to hear that his Countryside Fund would donate £50,000 from its emergency fund to help farmers and rural communities in Somerset.
As the charming royal arrived, he was greeted warmly by crowds gathered around and happily posed for photographs before embarking on a tour of the area.
The father-of-two was guided by boat to villages that had been cut off by the flood, and inspected the damage firsthand. Donning wellies and wrapped up in a heavy rain overcoat, the prince remarked that he now had "an idea of how awful it is."
The second-in-line to the throne was also taken on a tractor trailor to visit affected farms, including one in the village of Muchelney. The owners of Thorney Moor Farm looked enthused to meet the prince as they welcomed him into their home and presented him with a gift.
Thousands of hectares of land still remain under water in the Somerset Levels. Those who spoke to the prince remarked that he had listened attentively to what people had told him, but was yet to comment openly on what needed to be done.