Couple have to canoe home in Gloucestershire floods
FLOOD victims Laurence King and Katherine Noble are forced to canoe to and from their home.
Some householders whose properties in Tirley, near Tewkesbury, have flooded for the second time in two months have left their homes while waiting for the water levels to drop.
But not determined pair Laurence and Katherine, who are using a canoe to reach their cottage.
It is the only way to get there, other than walking through chest-high water in waders.
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The couple bought the canoe and a rowing boat after parts of Tirley, which is by the River Severn, flooded in May.
But he added that it had been a gloomy Christmas for him and Katherine.
Yesterday, Laurence, 49, said: "It affects you, obviously. Christmas Day sat with your wellies on in two inches of water is not ideal."
He nevertheless was determined to remain optimistic, even in the face of forecasts which suggested the floods were not over yet.
Dave Throup, from the Environment Agency, said the picture remains bleak.
"The levels on the Severn will drop, but we've got two more significant bands of rain falling over Wales which we will see in Gloucestershire next week," he said.
"It is looking like levels will drop over the next couple of days and then rise again to what we have seen recently, but hopefully it won't be any worse.
"This does mean, however, that it is going to impact on us and we have got to keep a close eye on it.
Laurence and Katherine obtained additional pumps after their home was flooded by between six and eight inches of water in November, and these have helped reduce the amount of water that got in this time.
Laurence admitted that he had known about the flood risk when he and Katherine moved in during the summer of last year. But he said what he had not realised was that the land drainage systems were so inadequate.
Authorities should reinstate outfalls and install pumps in the area to reduce the flooding for residents, he said. "It's very sad. The attention isn't being paid to this area."
Much of the Tewkesbury area has been on flood alert over Christmas, though river levels have not risen as high as in November, according to the Environment Agency. It said the Severn at Tewkesbury peaked at 4.52m then, whereas its highest point this time was 4.44m.
Yesterday, a number of flood warnings remained in place in the county, which had seen houses become flooded in Cirencester, as well as the Tewkesbury area.
The authorities said there had been a number of incidents with irresponsible people removing signs from roads which were closed due to dangerously-high flood levels.
Several roads in the Cirencester area were still closed yesterday, as was the B4213 at Haw Bridge and the A417 at Maisemore, while residents in Hempsted, Gloucester, were stranded.