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Big thaw leads to flood worries

Most at risk are empty homes, where pipes are already frozen and are left to thaw out without being treated.

Chris Netherton, managing director of the National Flood School, said:

"A large number of burst pipes were already being reported as the bad weather took hold.

"Now as the thaw occurs that number is set to rise dramatically. The economic downturn has left a higher number of properties empty than usual and these are most at risk."

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