Tuesday, March 26th 2013, 5:32 PM EDT
Fifty freezing residents were last night finally dug out of their village after being marooned in the snow without food, electricity and heat over the weekend as Britain was blasted by severe weather.
A council highways team attempted to clear a road in Strinesdale near Oldham, Greater Manchester, on Friday, but were met with monster snow drifts. However, they eventually got through last night.
Local Jane Holroyd, 34, said: ‘A lot of us use solid fuel up here, and once we ran out of coal through trying to keep warm we had to use bits and pieces of wood. And we struggled to get enough food.
‘Then the electricity cut out on Saturday afternoon too. It's been terrible. It’s like the Antarctic up here. There's a local fireman who’s been delivering bread and milk to the elderly residents.’
Meanwhile it emerged today that army helicopters were being mobilised to help drop food to starving animals stranded in the snow as desperate cash-strapped farmers fear for their livestock.
The Ministry of Defence was asked to help out in Northern Ireland, where food and medicine were already being delivered by helicopter to people cut off by the severe weather.
An RAF Chinook helicopter dropped feed to thousands of stranded farm animals. The extent of the losses is unclear as most of the missing livestock are buried below thick snow in Antrim and Down.
The MoD agreed to a request by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers because of the growing plight facing farmers struggling to trace missing sheep who have vanished in 20ft snow drifts.
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