Ice warning as river water on roads and paths starts to freeze
FORECASTERS are warning of treacherous conditions as the floodwaters that have hit Derbyshire over the past few days start to freeze.
Temperatures are set to plummet to as low as -4C in rural areas tonight and will remain cold over the weekend, with the chance of wintry showers in some parts.
It comes after a week where the county was battered by heavy rain, with many villages and roads flooded as rivers burst their banks.
Now there are fears that the surface water still lying on many streets and pavements could become icy and hazardous.
Derbyshire County Council has warned motorists to take extra care on the roads over the next few days.
Councillor Simon Spencer, deputy leader of the authority, said run-off from flooded fields had the potential to wash away any salt and grit that is spread.
He said: "The ground is completely saturated with all the rain.
"That means we're likely to see water running from adjacent land onto the road for a few days yet – particularly in rural areas.
"If temperatures drop, any grit we spread could be washed away and there'll be little we can do to help prevent wet roads turning icy."
Residents still clearing their homes in villages like Egginton, which flooded at the weekend, have been given advice from the council.
They have been told to contact insurance companies as soon as possible and use a permanent ink pen to mark the level which water rose to in their homes.
The authority also suggested taking photographs as proof of any damage.
It has said that people affected by floods should turn on their central heating and keep the thermostat between 20-22 degrees for steady drying.
Public transport is also still being affected by damage caused by the rain.
A train from Derby to Plymouth was stranded yesterday due to a landslip near the track in Bristol.
The 6.10am service was unable to move for two hours as a result of the slide and then terminated at Taunton.
The Met Office has said Derbyshire is not due any more heavily rainfall this week but the drop in temperatures will be very noticeable. A spokesperson said today would be dry with some bright spells and patches of cloud before the temperatures fall this evening.
He said: "It's looking pretty cold. The highest temperatures for today will only be 5C or 6C and tonight it will drop below freezing."
He said that unusually the temperatures will fall quite early in the evening.
"Similarly tomorrow it will be a dry day with a fair deal of cloud around and the winds will be getting lighter."
Temperatures tomorrow will be around the same as today and overnight will hit lows of 0C.
Overnight on Friday there is a chance of some wintry showers into Saturday morning.
Saturday is looking dry and fine but still very cold.