Gloucester braced for more floods as water levels reach peak
RISING water levels have left Gloucester bracing itself for further flooding.
The Environment Agency expects the River Severn to peak this morning and engulf more homes and roads.
It says the flood waters could take several days to subside.
More than 1,000 sandbags have been delivered to at-risk areas and emergency services have evacuated people from their homes.
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Villagers from Sandhurst and Maisemore were carried to safety yesterday by the fire service's rescue boat.
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service's hovercraft was also launched and is now on standby in case more families are left stranded.
By yesterday afternoon, the service had attended 32 incidents in the county, with nine of these involving moving people to safety.
Severn Area Rescue Association's own rescue boat has also been launched to provide extra support.
Tina Bailey and her family were stuck at home for three days after flood water surrounded their home in Base Lane, Sandhurst.
She and daughters Hannah Carless, three, and Beth Carless, 19 months, were rescued by the fire boat yesterday afternoon.
Partner Andy Carless was also evacuated.
Tina said: "The water was starting to rush with speed down the lane and into our garden.
"It didn't come into the house because it's built on a tump but we didn't want to be stranded there for another three days because of the children."
In Maisemore, three Hartpury College students had to be rescued by boat from their home after flood waters spilled into it.
Their neighbour Philippa Townley was evacuated along with her three young children because of fears their home would be next to flood.
She said water had already crept into their utility room but was being kept at bay by makeshift defences and the family had been praying their home would not flood.
Next door, Paul Cuff was also bracing himself for water to swirl through his home overnight.
He and lodger Mitch Wright spent yesterday piling up sandbags around the property and moving carpets and furniture out of harm's way.
Paul said: "We are bracing ourselves for it to flood."
Near Walham, 60 horses left stranded by flood water were supplied with fresh water by emergency services but it was deemed too risky to move them.
New Start Cat Rescue, in Malswick, was also evacuated.
The Met Office is predicting only light showers today and tomorrow in Gloucester but a drop in temperature.
The "big freeze" could be on its way as the mercury is expected to drop to 0C by Friday.