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Canoeists rescued from river
TWO canoeists had to be rescued by firefighters after getting into difficulty on the River Avon in Alderbury on Tuesday as heavy rain and flooding continue to cause problems across Wiltshire.
Rain and high winds mean the river levels are much higher than usual with stronger currents.
The canoe capsized but the men got themselves out of the water and into a tree where they waited for fire crews, who were called at 3.50pm.
About 30 firefighters, including two crews from Salisbury, one from Tisbury and water rescue teams from Amesbury, Chippenham, Trowbridge, and Hampshire attended the incident.
The canoeists were stranded about 20ft from shore and inflatable boats and walkways were needed to lead them to safety. The men were rescued by 6.30pm.
A Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said: “We discourage people from going out on the water, particularly when you can’t gauge the water current.”
Widespread flooding has caused problems in Salisbury and surrounding areas over the last week.
The River Avon burst its banks in the city on Monday morning, causing flooding in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close.
Two people had to be evacuated from their homes, and staff at Salisbury Museum put sandbags in place and moved exhibits away from the most vulnerable areas.
Coombe Bissett was also badly affected when the River Ebble burst its banks, with many homes flooded and roads closed.
The A30 was closed at Barford St Martin on Monday and there were flood warnings in place for Wylye, Great Wishford, Codford St Peter, Britford, Downton, Great Durnford and the Woodford Valley.
Upavon, Netheravon, Durrington, Bulford, Tidworth and Shipton Bellinger were also affected.
Groundwater flooding alerts were issued for the Cranborne Chase area, including Bishopstone, Breamore, Broad Chalke, Burgate, Chilmark, Fordingbridge, Mere and Sixpenny Handley.
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