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Build an army of snowmen to stop flooding in Gloucestershire

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

  • Snowman outside Tewkesbury Abbey

  • ON COURSE: Cheltenham Racecourse staff Zoltan Barbely and Jacek Maoczyk move snow from the parade ring. For more on the Festival Trials Day preparations, turn to the back page

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SNOWMEN could be the answer to predicted flooding woes – according to the latest expert advice.

After a week of freezing temperatures which dipped deep below zero, mercury levels are expected to dramatically rise in the coming days, causing a sudden thaw.

With large amounts of water forecast to be running off of the likes of Cleeve and Leckhampton hills and with rain on the way, people have been told to get out in their gardens and get building.

The Environment Agency said compacting the snow into snowmen would help slow the rate of the thaw, reducing the amount of surface water.

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Environment Agency spokesman Roy Stokes said: "Ideally if everybody built themselves a snowman, that will slow the thaw down a bit.

"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 go too quick we are likely to see a few flood alerts. If you are at risk of flooding make sure you have got all of your planning in place."

Gritters are out again today to tackle icy roads. Forecasters are not predicting snow today or tomorrow but temperatures will dip below zero.

However, the idea has been given a frosty reception by many in Cheltenham and Tewkesbury.

Flood campaigner Dave Witts, secretary of the Severn and Avon Valley Combined Flood Group, branded the idea as "ridiculous".

He said: "How much snow does a snowman incorporate? How many would you have to build to reduce the rate of water flowing off the land?

"It sounds a bit stupid. If you have a three acre field and it has eight inches of snow on, to get rid of that snow I don't know how many snowmen you would have to make to do that. I can't take this seriously at all."

Meanwhile, Cheltenham Borough Councillor Barbara Driver (C, Lansdown) said: "It is a good thought, but come on, think it through?

"I would prefer it if they concentrated on teaching people how to drive in this weather."

Tewkesbury MP, Laurence Robertson, described the idea as a "novel solution".

He said: "I am not sure that this would have that big of an impact because there is snow all over the place but I have no objections to people doing it.

"Whether or not it would have an effect on the thaw, I am not too sure.

"But anything that would help against flooding is a good thing."

OPINION, P8

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15 comments

  • tishwash  |  January 25 2013, 5:22PM

    no you get 1 guy out of the group who is a bit 'more responsible' and put him in charge of the rest, done. Then you just have to check in every so often.

  • QuedgeleyGuy  |  January 24 2013, 9:38PM

    @tishwash, Do you mean the Crims doing pseudo-penance ? If 'Yes' then No. Why should our Soldiers have to babysit losers?

    |   1
  • CBCschmucks  |  January 24 2013, 8:23PM

    Lets find Roy Stokes, if not him any council weenie will do and pelt them with snowballs. The ones I throw will be yellow lol!

  • tishwash  |  January 24 2013, 8:15PM

    @quedgeleyGuy or the community service people ?

  • lordigaga  |  January 24 2013, 3:58PM

    and an army of office wallers to organise/oversee/vote themselves pay rises/get their family on the bandwagon. etc ect.

    |   2
  • whiteheat  |  January 24 2013, 3:16PM

    The Government is to allow 2 million Poles into the country to do the job, they are quicker and cheaper

  • Grahambarker  |  January 24 2013, 1:47PM

    yes a good idea to get the army invlved - or maybe those on community service or the dole? (You dont all have to jump down my throat!!)

    |   3
  • DG9999  |  January 24 2013, 10:37AM

    Roll giant snowballs. It is quicker.

    |   6
  • nomossystone  |  January 24 2013, 10:36AM

    Yes, they say if you are given lemons - make lemonade, if you are given snow - make snowmen, recently a friend of mine was given overipe bananas----- of course she made banana cake, -- always re-cycle.

    |   4
  • Bellyflop  |  January 24 2013, 10:27AM

    What a load of tosh.Ten inches of snow produces only one inch of surface water.

    |   -7

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