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The Big Thaw: Serious risk of flooding as snow starts to melt

The Environment Agency warn people that snow could cause flooding across the Midlands Photo: PA

The Midlands has had its fair share of snow over the last couple of weeks.

The freezing conditions caused traffic chaos and hundreds of schools were forced to close.

But as the snow starts to melt, the Environment Agency is now warning people that there is a serious threat of flooding.

Enjoying the snow....but it's on its way out as the weather turns warmer Credit: PA

When the Environment Agency predict how much water will come from the snow, they work on the principle that every 10cm of snowfall equals 1cm of rainfall.

According to this measurement, many parts of the Midlands will be at risk of localised flooding and river flooding.

Before Christmas, flooding hit many households and businesses in the region.

The message to people now is - Be Prepared.

One home devastated by the flood waters Credit: ITV Central

What to do in the event of a flood

The Environment Agency says you should be prepared to act quickly and get yourself to safety in a flooding emergency, to put the safety of people first and listen to advice from the Police and the Emergency Services.

The Agency urges people to take the following precautions in the event of a flooding emergency:

  • Tune into your local radio station on a battery or wind-up radio.
  • Switch off your electricity / gas supplies.
  • If you have a flood plan, put it into action. Click here to find out how to do this.
  • Move important items to safety.
  • If there is time, fit any flood protection products you might have.
  • If you require sandbags in an emergency you should contact your local authority.
  • You can buy bags and sand from DIY stores and local builders merchants if you wish to prepare.

What is localised flooding?

Also known as 'surface water flooding'. This usually happens where drainage systems are unable to cope with heavy spells of rainfall.

The Environment Agency cannot give you a direct warning for this type of flooding. They forecast where it might be a problem and put a daily flood risk forecast on the Environment Agency website.

You can also find out about the possibility of 'surface water' flooding in your area by checking local weather forecasts.