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Build snowmen to prevent flooding, British official advises

A man on his way to work pushes his bicycle through heavy snow in Pitlochry, central Scotland January 22, 2013 …
We must build an army of snowmen to protect the nation.

It sounds like a defence strategy fit for Canadians. In fact, it's only a slightly exaggerated version of a British government spokesperson's advice to prevent flooding as rising temperatures melt snow this weekend.

Roy Stokes, a spokesperson for the Environment Agency, has been quoted widely after telling a local BBC radio station that building nice, plump snowmen could reduce the chance of floods.

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"Ideally, if everybody built themselves a snowman that will slow the thaw down a bit," Stokes said.

"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."

Few could resist the imagery of a country building snowmen by direction of the government. The headlines poured in and before long, the media was declaring the UK's need for an entire snowman army. It's a tough job, Brits, but the nation needs you.

The Environment Agency later revised its position, saying building snowmen probably wouldn't do much to reduce flooding.

However, a physical geography professor told the BBC there is some sense behind the claim. Dr. Sim Reaney said snowmen could be useful because compacted snow does slow the melting process.

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However, he and another expert said you would need "a white terracotta army" to make any real difference.

Snow has pummeled Britain recently and the British Weather Services published a press release this week warning of a 'snow monster' approaching.

What better than snow soldiers to fight a snow monster?

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