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Gloucestershire weather: Respite from gales and rain - but more on the way

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 28, 2013

  • having a splashing time: From left, Lofty, Poppy, Sam and Sarah Davis having fun in a flooded park in Stroud.

  • feeding time: For one of several horses close to the river in Maisemore.

  • in deep: Horses in a flooded field in Sandhurst.

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* Yellow weather warning of icy roads until 10pm Saturday

* No rain for Saturday and Sunday

Related content

* Flood warnings in place for sections of the River Severn

* Fresh band of rain predicted for early Monday and most of Tuesday

DRY weather and bright skies this weekend should not be seen as a sign Gloucestershire is in the clear from floods.

While the rain is set to hold off today and tomorrow, it is expected to return with a vengeance in the early hours of Monday and again through most of Tuesday.

River levels, already approaching capacity in many parts of the county, will be pushed to the limits but the brutal wind of the past few days should finally have abated.

Flood warnings – higher than a flood alert but below the most serious severe flood warning – remain in place along sections of the River Severn north of Gloucester, mainly around Tewkesbury and outlying villages.

Dave Throup, from the Environment Agency, said: "The River Severn now is the only one that's really of interest. It peaked in Tewkesbury at 4.2metres, compared with 4.4 last Christmas.

"It's an improving situation, certainly in the short term. We've got a dry weekend coming up, apart from a few showers, but there's a very unsettled spell of weather starting on Sunday night and into Monday and Tuesday which could cause problems, because the rivers will still be very full.

"We've also got high tides coming on New Year's Day and the combination of that and more bad weather we'll have to keep a close eye on."

He said properties should be safe for now, but warned people to be on guard ahead of more downpours next week.

Businesses like The Dog at Over – which flooded earlier this week – will be keeping fingers crossed that we're through the worst of it.

Elsewhere, though, serious concerns have been raised about the welfare and safety of several horses tethered to fencing in a flood-prone Maisemore field.

They are believed to have been left there since Christmas Day. Initially there were eight or nine of them, but campaigners trying to get them moved claimed one had been killed in a traffic collision and two others had also died.

The RSPCA, which has been monitoring the situation, was unaware of any deaths.

Katya Mira, press officer for the RSPCA, said: "As far as we are aware there are three horses tethered by the river and two further up from the river.

"Inspectors have been carrying out regular checks on the horses and as far as we are concerned they have been fed and watered regularly and they are okay."

It is not clear who owns the horses but it's believed they could belong to travellers.

Campaigner Drew Pratton said: "The horses have now been moved slightly upstream. I have been along with the police to the field and they will keep a close eye on the horses and carry out regular checks. They also said they have spoken to the owners who I believe are travellers who are camped nearby. The horses need to be moved or looked after properly."

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4 comments

  • FalcoMarta  |  December 29 2013, 10:59AM

    I've loved horses all my life and to see these little ponies tethered by the estuary with chains, which mean that there's weight on their noses all the time, they can't run but only walk in small circles, is really frustrating. The people who breed, and mostly breed very badly, must stop now. The flood plain known , I think, as the Causeway and the Council owned land should not be used to fly graze ponies. If we have animals then it's our responsibility to keep them in a suitable and safe homes and fields and not by a rising estuary tethered all the time. l It may appear acceptable to the RSPCA and Police but it is surely breaking the Animal Welfare Law. The problem is the breeding and this must be made illegal NOW. Travelers obviously should not breed horses because they are travelling? But we all know that they aren't travelling but breeding and interbreeding these ponies and horses and getting away with all sorts of ccriminality. We are all supposed to say nothing and they appear to be able to behave as horrifically as they do.

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  • JemmyWood  |  December 29 2013, 8:22AM

    Sorry Tree1974, the RSPCA are a charity, not an official government law enforcing body. If any crime has been commited, its up to the Police to deal with it. As the horses were keft standing in water, thats animal cruelty, which is a crime last time I checked (please correct me if I'm wrong) but ooooh what a surprise... The horses belong to Travellers ( P I K E Y S to everyone else) and we all know that nothing can be done to upset the Travellers ( P I K E Y S) and the Police won't dare to go and deal with them either and the Travellers (P I K E Y S) know that.

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  • Tree1974  |  December 28 2013, 8:44PM

    The RSPCA are talking total rubbish!!! I reported to them on Christmas Eve about the horses tethered along the river as the water was extreemly close and rising, one also had no water. I also put in a report to them about the horses by the causeway and the fact they were paddling in water. This was done in one call but I was assured it was logged as two incidents. The operator seemed uninterested and told me it could take 28 days. I tried to explain this would be too late but she didn't week to listen. Infact the only point when she did show any interest was at the end of the call when she asked if I wanted to make a one off donation!!! If the RSPCA wish to dispute this, I will gladly get them a log of my phone calls. Once again they have let animals down, they only seem interested if they will get publicity. People would be far better off to support smaller animal charities and organisations who actually get the job done!

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  • InsidetheEA  |  December 28 2013, 4:41PM

    Environment Agency Flood Defence Assets - Manipulation of Figures - Are they fit for purpose? EA Whistleblower blog explains http://tinyurl.com/nwcuhv3

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