Heavy snow and torrential rain has brought chaos and 170 flood warnings across Britain today (Easter Monday) but the flooding aftermath could potentially do far more damage.
With up to 4ins of snow falling in the north and Scotland – even deeper on higher ground – millions of tons of water will hit areas vulnerable to flooding hard in the coming days.
Temperatures are set to rise and the thaw will be quick, probably causing rivers to burst their banks and severe surface water flooding as drains struggle to cope.
Companies such as FloodSax which specialise in ‘sandless sandbags’ (pictured left) urge people to be prepared for the aftermath and the Yorkshire firm has 100,000 FloodSax in stock ready to go.
FloodSax are transformed from being as light as a pillowcase to being more effective than traditional sandbags in just three minutes.
Many homes and businesses worldwide now have a pack of FloodSax sandless sandbags so they are ready for any flooding emergency. They are space-saving to store but can be transformed into sandbags within minutes simply by adding water.
Almost three million have now been sold worldwide and they have proved themselves in action time and time again.
Five yellow weather warnings issued by the Met Office cover swathes of Britain today due to the snow and rain.
Heavy rain is forecast for most of Wales as well as in England and Northern Ireland, with up to 70mm expected to fall in the worst-hit areas.
Forecaster Marco Petagna said: "With this rainfall we are certainly looking at some localised flooding in south west England, Wales and Northern Ireland - anywhere in the warning area."
Forecaster Helen Roberts said: "The main risk is rain, we have a number of warnings out at the moment, including a fairly large rain warning covering most of the country.”
Met Office forecaster Rachael West said: “Tuesday brings the first glimmer of Spring. We could see highs of 15°C across central parts of England and Wales, which is a few degrees above average.”