Floods in Leicestershire: Firefighters kept busy over weekend
Firefighters spent the weekend rescuing people from flood-hit homes and cars as heavy rain continued to hit the county.
A total of 67.1mm of rain has fallen in the past week – the amount usually expected during the whole of November.
A spokeswoman for the fire service estimated crews attended between 60 and 100 incidents of flooding since Saturday.
Across the county, villages were waterlogged – none more so than Sharnford, near Hinckley, where some people found horses were the best way to get around.
The fire service spokeswoman said the calls had been non-stop.
"They started at about midnight on Saturday and they haven't stopped – it's been pretty much continuous since then," she said.
"We had to go and rescue five people from a taxi which was stuck in floodwater under a bridge in Leicester Lane in Narborough, at 4.34am on Sunday.
"There were all trapped in the vehicle and the crew had to come all the way from Hinckley, due to other closer crews being out on other calls.
"In Oakthorpe, we went out to an elderly couple who were trapped in a house in Burton Road, at 5.05am.
"We asked the local authority to rehome them because of the state of the house due to flooding, and because of their circumstances – they were elderly and one was quite poorly."
The fire and rescue service also received calls about animals caught up in the floodwaters, and had to liaise with their colleagues at the RSPCA on those.
The Environment Agency issued warnings of "imminent" flooding in 11 areas of the county, advising those who lived near the rivers or brooks which were set to break their banks to move their families, valuables and pets to safety.
Roads in and out of Sharnford were closed yesterday after the River Soar burst it banks, leaving residents to find alternative forms of getting around.
The Heskeymee-Preston family were woken at 5am yesterday by a neighbour who warned them floodwater was threatening to engulf their cars.
Sera Heskeymee-Preston said: "The water was up to the wheels and with our daughter's smaller car it was already starting to get in, so we moved them.
"Water also leaked into the study at the back of the house – about an inch – but it has not caused much damage because we have old stone floors in there.
"It wasn't very pleasant, but when you put it in perspective, looking at other houses and pubs around the village, it is not bad."
By lunchtime yesterday, three feet deep water had filled Leicester Road in the centre of the village.
Sera said: "It was up to my thighs when we set out, so I popped my 10-year-old daughter Honey in an dinghy and off we went."
Horse owners from the Brindley Stables in Aston Lane used their four-legged friends to get around the village.
The Rothley Brook also burst its banks, causing flooding in roads in Glenfield, Anstey and Rothley.
Parts of Rearsby and Asfordby were also underwater after the River Wreake overflowed.
A spokeswoman from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said call handlers had offered advice to about 200 people who called in worried about rising water levels.
She said most of the calls came from Charnwood and North West Leicestershire.
Dozens of flooded roads were closed, including the A6006 at Asfordby, Cossington Lane in Rothley, Kingfisher Estate in Loughborough, Leicester Road, Enderby, the A6 at Hathern, Leicester Road in Sharnford, Slash Lane in Sileby and Sileby Lane in Mountsorrel.
Mercury weather expert Dave Mutton said: "Problems really began on Monday, but continued through the week, with 26.2mm falling on Wednesday, 11.2mm on Thursday, 11.4mm on Saturday, and 13.5mm in the early hours of Sunday.
"The problem is that it is rain falling on already sodden ground, and at this time of year it just won't evaporate."
He predicted more showers for today, tomorrow and Wednesday, with a drier but colder end to the week.
The Environment Agency advised people living near flooded areas to "protect yourself and your property."
It said: "If it is safe to do so, block doors with flood boards or sandbags and cover airbricks and other ventilation holes. Move family, pets and valuables to a safe place."
A spokeswoman for Leicestershire Police asked motorists to avoid flooded roads.
"Imminent" flood warnings were yesterday issued for: the River Wreake at Syston, Asfordby, East Goscote, Rearsby, Brooksby and Ratcliffe-on-the-Wreake; the River Soar at Soar Mill, Croft, Sharnford, Kegworth Bridge, Redhill and Cossington; the River Sence at Blaby and Glen Parva; Wood Brook at Loughborough; Rothley Brook at Glenfield and Anstey; and farmland in the Stapleford and Brentingby areas upstream of Brentingby Dam.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron told of his shock at the flooding which has hit the south west and promised to "ensure everything is being done to help".
A woman was killed in Western Way, Exeter, on Saturday night when she was trapped under a fallen spruce tree which injured two others.
See the five-day forecast for Leicester and Leicestershire here.
More information on roads in Leicestershire closed due to flooding - here.
Click here for Leicestershire flood warnings on the Environment Agency website.
See the flood alerts map using Environment Agency updates here.
Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for up-to-date flooding information.
Have you been affected by the flooding?
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More pictures/tweets/video from a weekend of floods across the county