Cold snap gives way to great thaw as homes are flooded by burst pipes

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The cold snap gripping Britain in recent days has given way to a great thaw with homes flooded by burst pipes.

Britain has seen a swing of almost 30 degrees celsius in less than a week, as the country defrosted from a record-low of -15.7C in Scotland on Tuesday to widespread mid-teen temperatures on Monday.

A Met Office spokesman said the temperature change was unusual, but had been seen before in the UK.

The largest diurnal temperature change of 29.3 degrees celsius was recorded on Dec 3, 1995 at Altnaharra, Scotland.

The ice and snow warnings by the Met Office, which were a mainstay last week, have now made way for rain warnings, and there are already a number of flood warnings in place.

Warmer air pushing into the UK from Monday is expected to bring a fresh wave of weather misery for the most vulnerable in Britain.

Rapidly thawing water pipes are already starting to burst in some parts of the country, whilst rare “freezing rain” moving in from Sunday could coat roads and pavements with a thick layer of ice as it lands on frozen ground.

Residents in four streets in Winnersh, Berkshire, woke on Sunday morning to find floodwater lapping at their front door and gardens and the road submerged after a huge water main burst.

Firefighters rushed to the scene in Reading Road, Winnersh, near Reading, Berks., and used water-filled booms to try to stop the tens of thousands of gallons of water spreading to other roads and home.

Residents of flats at Westbrook Court found themselves marooned in their homes, the ground floor flats having been flooded as the water cascaded in via the front door and ventilation bricks.

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