Building snowmen will help stop floods, says Nottinghamshire Environment Agency expert Roy Stokes
PEOPLE are being advised to build snowmen, as one way to stop their homes from being flooded when the snow starts to melt.
The advice came from an exert at the Environment Agency, who says snowmen melt more slowly than snow on the ground, so building them would help to prevent floods as the snow started to melt.
Weather forecasters are predicting a sudden thaw this weekend, with temperatures set to soar from minus figures up to around 13°C.
This has led to fears of severe flooding in many parts of the country.
But the Environment Agency said Brits could help slow the rate of the sudden thaw by building snowmen in their gardens and on driveways.
Spokesman Roy Stokes, flood and coastal risk management programme manager for Notts, said the snow in snowmen was more compacted, causing it to melt more slowly. "Ideally, if everybody built themselves a snowman, that will slow the thaw down a bit," he said.
"If you notice, when people clear their drive the snow thaws away but the compacted piles stay – which will give a balanced thaw, which would be helpful. We would rather it be a gradual thaw than a really quick one. If it does melt too quickly, we are likely to see a few flood alerts."
Dr Simon Keeling, forecaster at weatherweb.co.uk, warned that localised flooding was likely following the thaw.
He said: "There is going to be a big swing in temperatures, from as low as -13°C on Friday night to 13°C on Tuesday.
"It will be really noticeable, and, as the majority of England, Scotland and Wales is under a layer of snow, there will be a lot of standing water around. There is likely to be localised flooding and driving conditions will not be good.
"We are going to see a rise in temperatures next week, followed by a cold spell, but nothing like the recent freeze."
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