Flood warnings in place as big melt begins

After days of freezing cold, heavy snowfall and biting blizzards a big thaw is now underway in parts of the UK.

However, with the big melt comes a new risk for millions of people – flooding.

A man clears snow from the grounds of Kinnaird Primary School in Larbert, Scotland

Image: A man clears snow from the grounds of Kinnaird Primary School in Larbert, Scotland

With temperatures set to reach as high as 9C (48F) in parts of England over the weekend, dozens of flood warnings have been put in place for north east and south west.

The Environment Agency has put 16 flood warnings in place across England, meaning that flooding is expected and people should take immediate action.

There are 34 flood alerts in place across the UK, meaning that people should be prepared for flooding.

Video: Police officer headbutts icy window

Six flood alerts are in place for Wales, where water levels are set to surge.

Rain falling onto snow and freezing overnight conditions also threatens treacherous driving conditions for many.

Met Office yellow warnings for snow and ice have been extended across much of the country, with warnings in Scotland lasting late into Monday evening.

Vehicles battle against snow and black ice

Image: Vehicles battle against snow and black ice

In parts of Scotland and Wales – where the snow is still thick – some towns remain completely cut off by snowdrifts.

An elderly couple and their dogs had to be dug out of a secluded farm house near West Linton by police Scotland and a mountain rescue team after they became trapped by 12ft snow drifts on Saturday.

Dozens of wedding guests were unable to get to a wedding in South Wales after becoming stuck in snow in Ebbw Vale.

Groom Darren Elson told Sky News: “A stressful situation has been made ten times more stressful by the weather”. Many friends that did make the couple’s big day had to dig their way out of the snow.

One man in Greater Manchester had a lucky escape after trying to move a tree branch from an 11,000-volt power line. Electricity North West dubbed him “the luckiest man alive”.

The little rabbit was hopping about in the snow when she was spotted

Video: Baby hare’s rescue from ‘Beast of the East’

In Ireland, which still has orange and yellow alerts for snow and ice in place, tens of thousands of homes have been left without water and power.

Some roads remain blocked by up to 8ft (244cm) of snow, and people are being warned to avoid all but essential travel.

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Video: Ireland suffers worst weather in half a century

The Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI issued a joint call for people to exercise caution in coastal areas, where high tides and easterly winds could result in flooding and “extreme danger” on exposed piers and coastlines.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned people to continue to take extreme care, saying: “While things are improving, we don’t want to lull people into a false sense of security.”

Wiltshire Police

Image: Wiltshire Police help dig out cars that had to be left on the road

While most airports are now open, a baby hare had a lucky escape when she was pulled from the snow by a member of staff at Dublin Airport.

A video of the leveret – which has been named Emma – being rescued was posted on the airport’s Twitter feed has now been viewed nearly 70,000 times.

While some roads, including the A66 in Cumbria and County Durham, remain closed due to snow, many rail services are resuming service, albeit with revised timetables.

The snow may be melting, but bread is still in short supply

Image: The snow may be melting, but bread is still in short supply

The train track at Dawlish on the South Devon coast was also forced to close on Saturday due to high tides.

Military help is still in place for affected areas still battling to clear away heavy drifts of snow.

More from Dublin

A plucky swimmer braces himself for an icy dip

Image: A plucky swimmer braces himself for an icy dip

Photos of empty shop shelves across the UK were shared on social media, with supermarkets feeling the effect of cancelled deliveries earlier in the week.

Despite the freezing temperatures and snow covered ground, brave swimmers still took to the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park in London for their regular weekend swim.

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