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Three ponies put down after being left marooned by floodwater as homeowners are warned of fresh deluge to end the yearThe horses had been grazing on flood plains in Over Causeway, Gloucester, which became water-locked following weeks of heavy rain
22:55 GMT, 30 December 2012
Severe flooding trapped 60 horses on a tiny mud island, leaving them desperate for food and water.
Attempts have been made to save the herd, but people living nearby have accused the RSPCA of taking too long to respond.
Three of the horses had to be put down after suffering from salmonella, while many others were said to have become seriously dehydrated.
The horses had been grazing on flood plains in Over Causeway, Gloucestershire, which became water-locked last month following weeks of heavy rain.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
Stuck: A herd of 60 horses have been marooned on a tiny 'island'- after their field was engulfed in flood water for the second time
Closer look: Rescue services inspect a group of horses stranded after a nearby river burst it's banks
Rescue: Teams also ferried a vet and RSPCA workers over to the mainly Argentinian cattle horses, which had become dehydrated and needed treatment
Local resident Paula Dicks, who was at the site yesterday, said: ‘It was really bad this morning.
‘One horse was completely cut off on a piece of land, five or six were stranded in bog and another 20 or so were in a barn which is completely cut off.
‘They didn’t have any food, some of them are foraging in the mud for something to eat – they were eating mud.’
Rescue teams say efforts are being made to save the horses but they can only be transported in groups of up to eight at a time to another farm used by the land-owner.
Strong winds: Storms, gale force winds and huge waves batter the promenade and seafront of Aberystwyth, on the west coast of UK on the last Sunday of 2012
Swamped: A property is surrounded by floodwater near Apperley in Gloucestershire after days of almost relentless downpours
New travel: Katherine Noble from Tirley in Gloucestershire who is using an inflatable canoe to get in and out of her home (seen in the background of this photo) after was cut off by floodwaters
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘The owner has been moving the horses to Wales over the past couple of days.
‘He can only do five to eight at a time so it’s taking a little while but they are OK, they have food and they are not stranded.’
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: ‘The RSPCA has been receiving calls about these horses for the past few weeks and each time our inspectors have been going out and checking on the horses and have rescued those in need with the help of the fire brigade.
‘Sadly, three of the stranded foals were suffering from salmonella and had to be put to sleep on vet advice – these foals did not drown. Most of them have now been moved to safer ground.’
New exercise: A man watches as his dogs swims in flood waters surrounding the village of Muchelney which has been cut off by flooding on the Somerset Levels
Warning: Although the past couple of weeks of almost relentless downpours look to be coming to an end, the Environment Agency warned that rain over the next couple of days could lead to more flooding in areas
Wet and wild: Members of Brighton Swimming Club, unable to go for their daily swim due to rough sea conditions, take a 'groyne shower' instead
Sodden: Fields covered by floodwater near Apperley in Gloucestershire after days of almost relentless downpours
Wet weekend: A family steel themselves against the freezing spray as
waves crash against the coast in Southsea, Portsmouth
Watch out! Downpours are set to lash Britain again this weekend, with ice, snow and storms tearing across the country
Homeowners are being warned of the risk of further flooding to start the New Year as what is likely to be the wettest year on record comes to a soggy end.
Although the out look was initially dry for New Year's Eve, it has now turned wet.
Heavy rain is expected to fall across
much of the country on Monday, with revellers at outdoor New
Year's Eve celebrations advised to take an umbrella.
Forecasters said the new year should
bring some drier weather, with most of the rain expected to have stopped
by the early hours of New Year's Day.
Although the past couple of weeks of
almost relentless downpours look to be coming to an end, the Environment
Agency warned that rain over the next couple of days could lead to more
flooding in areas where the ground is already saturated and rivers and
groundwater levels are still high.
It currently has 191 flood alerts and 79 flood warnings in place.
They follow hundreds of other alerts
issued this month, as several days' worth of rain fell in a few hours at
its worst, contributing to a year of bad weather which has left the UK
on the brink of its wettest since records began in 1910.
VIDEO Met Office predicts a dry New Year's Eve for most of the UK
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Homes have been evacuated and weary
commuters and travellers forced to find alternative routes or abandon
their plans altogether as sections of Britain's transport network ground
to a halt.
Nick Prebble, a forecaster with
MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said on Sunday that nowhere
would escape a soaking over the next day and a half.
He said: 'Heavy rain will be pushing
eastwards across most of the UK through tonight and into tomorrow, so
all parts of the country will see some rain.
'The most persistent heavy rain will
be confined to the south-east corner of England – East Anglia, the South
East and London, but it will be letting up by midnight and it should be
dry by the early hours.
'There will still be some showers after this, but they will be lighter and in more western areas.'
Environment Agency teams are
continuing to monitor river levels, clear river channels and ensure
flood defences are working properly, and have erected mobile flood
barriers in cities and towns such as Oxford, Worcester, Shrewsbury and
Larger rivers such as the Thames, Severn and Wye are likely remain high for several days.
Record setting: This year is likely to be the wettest since records began
Environment Agency flood risk manager
Katharine Evans said: “With more heavy rain forecast, it is still as
important as ever to be prepared for flooding, keep up to date with the
latest warnings and, if you are at risk, to move valuable items to
'Our teams will continue to work
around the clock to protect communities from flooding, and we would urge
people to stay safe by not walking or driving through flood water.'
Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts
said staff had already declared 2012 as England’s wettest year on
record, while further rain today could see the all-time UK record
Just 1.8 in of rain is needed by
midnight on Monday to overtake the 52.6 in of rain recorded in 2000. The
good news is that New Year’s Day should be dry.
Meanwhile, high winds and torrential
rain forced an easyJet pilot to abort a landing at Luton yesterday. A
second attempt was successful.
The bad weather will continue into Monday with further heavy downpours
tomorrow night. And with the ground already saturated forecasters warn
there is a high risk of further flooding.
many parts of the country remain underwater, there will be torrential
rain in the south and amber alert storm warnings have been issued for
parts of the North West.
Storms, gale force winds and huge waves batter the promenade and seafront of Aberystwyth, on the west coast of UK
Pockets of the UK have had to endure
being cut off temporarily, with homes evacuated and residents forced to
seek refuge elsewhere, while the country's public transport system has
been badly affected.
The Met office warned of 'intense
downpours' with persistent wet and windy weather moving in from west to
east and not clearing in some areas.
And yet another band of heavy rain may linger in some parts of the south
throughout New Years Eve.
However many parts of the country should at least have clear skies for their New
Year's Eve fireworks, and from Tuesday onwards only occasional showers
are forecast, with several dry days.
The Met Office has already confirmed
2012 as the wettest year in England since records began in 1910 – and
the threatened storms are likely to confirm it as the wettest for all of
Less than two inches of rain is needed
for the record to be broken, remarkable considering much of the country
was in drought in March with huge swathes subjected to hosepipe bans.
A man walks down a flooded road in Clifton Hampden, Oxfordshire.
Forecasters have warned of storms and heavy rain throughout the weekend
and into the New Year
Dry skies ahead: Aerial view of the floods in Goring on Thames from Lardon Chase, Oxfordshire
Shocking turnaround: Back in April, such widespread flooding barely seemed imaginable, with Britain gripped by the worst drought since 1976
In the past 10 days, 520 properties
have flooded across the country. High ground water levels have meant
that even places such as Common Moor, near Liskeard – one of Cornwall's
highest communities above sea level – have been put at risk.
Flood defences have so far protected
more than 21,000 properties across England and Wales, including 4,000
properties in Cornwall, while the Environment Agency's Floodline has
received 28,000 calls.
Pete Fox, flood risk manager at the
Environment Agency, said: 'We're urging people, particularly in north
Wales and western England, to remain vigilant to flooding.
'If you're driving home this weekend,
give yourself extra time to make your journey, check your route before
travelling and avoid driving through floodwater.'
First Great Western said the main rail
line in the South West, which has been closed since before Christmas
because of flooding between Exeter St Davids and Tiverton, is expected
to reopen today.
Drivers beware: The road to Apperley is covered by floodwater
Wet: The last Sunday of the year saw sodden land across the UK
Rising: The water level Gloucestershire is seen half-way up a gate as the floods continue
A couple are being forced to canoe to and from their home – which is marooned by 6ft of flood water.
Laurence King and Katherine Noble have spent the past week paddling out of their two-bedroomed cottage and have even delivered Christmas presents on the yellow boat.
They use the canoe for transporting shopping and commuting to work – pulling on waders over their smart suits before paddling to their car parked on dry land 150ft away.
It is the second time that Laurence, 49, and Katherine, 35, have been flooded at their pretty home in Tirley, near Tewkesbury, Glos., in just two months.
The couple – who only moved in last year – bought their canoe and a rowing boat after parts of Tirley, near the River Severn, flooded in May.
Laurence, a civil engineer, said the couple had been left with no other option but to use the canoe.
He said: 'You just get on with it. We haven't got a choice. You either sit in the house and climb the walls or you get on and try to carry on as normal.
'We only bought the house last year and although we knew it had flooded in 2007, we didn't expect so much water so often.
'It was high in May, flooded in November and it is back again now.
'We bought the canoe when we realised we couldn't fit us, our three dogs and the chickens in our rowing boat.
Wet wet wet: 2012 is already the rainiest year on record for England, and just 1.8 inches away from being the rainiest ever seen for the whole of the UK, with four days of December to go
New beginnings: Atlantic storms will bring 75mph winds and further downpours sweeping across Britain this weekend – but hopes are high for a balmy 2013
From sunshine to rain: While 2011 (left) was exceptionally dry, 2012
(right) was England's soggiest year since 1910. (Brown areas are driest,
while blue are wettest)
WHAT A WASHOUT! TOP TEN WETTEST YEARS IN HISTORY
ANNUAL RAINFALL (mm)YEAR1095