South Scotland

Couple freed from 12ft drift around West Linton home

Police Scotland Image copyright PA
Image caption They had to be dug out after the house in West Linton became surrounded by snow drifts

An elderly couple in the Borders whose remote home was surrounded by 12ft snowdrifts have been rescued, along with their two dogs.

The couple, aged 70 and 71, from West Linton, both suffer from health problems.

They had no heating as they had run out of firewood and their coal shed was buried in snow.

They were dug out of their home by two police officers and Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team.

They are now staying with friends.

Sgt Davey Rourke said: "The house is in a dip so was slowly being buried in snowdrifts 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."

Image copyright Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue
Image caption The couple were rescued from the house, along with their two dogs
Image copyright Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team
Image caption Snowdrifts seen from inside the house

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

He added: "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.

"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."

He said: "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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