Storm Emma: Elderly couple rescued from farmhouse after being trapped by 12ft snow drifts

An elderly couple and their two dogs had to be dug out of their house after becoming trapped by 12ft (3.6m) snow drifts.

Two police officers and a mountain rescue team dug the couple, aged 70 and 71, out of the secluded farmhouse after they called for help on Friday afternoon.

They had run out of firewood for heating and were cut off from the coal shed at the property near West Linton in southern Scotland.

The couple were said to be in good health and they and their two dogs were taken to stay with a friend.

<em>Buried – an elderly couple’s house was being buried in snow drifts up to 12ft (Pictures: PA)</em>
Buried – an elderly couple’s house was being buried in snow drifts up to 12ft (Pictures: PA)

Sergeant Davey Rourke said: “The house is in a dip so was slowly being buried in snow drifts up to 12ft in height.

“We dug down to one of the doors where there was just 5ft of snow and thankfully got them out.”

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Dave Wright, from Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue, said he had not seen such weather conditions for years.

He said: “Quite rapidly they were getting into a dangerous situation without heat. They were perfectly alright when we got them out the house, they were a little bit surprised by how the situation escalated so quickly and I don’t think they had experienced anything like that before, but this type of weather hasn’t been seen for quite some time.”

<em>Drifts – the conditions are trumping 2010 and 2001 for level of snow depth</em>
Drifts – the conditions are trumping 2010 and 2001 for level of snow depth

He added: “We’re obviously used to working in the mountains and hills, but we haven’t seen conditions like this at ground level for a long time, it trumps 2010 and 2001 for the level of snow depth and how the drifts have been piling up.

“Frozen water and supplies would have been another issue and that’s why one of the messages we’re pushing out is for people to check on neighbours in rural communities, particularly the older generation.”

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