Thames barrier shuts in icy winds

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The Independent Online

The Thames barrier was closed yesterday as Arctic winds continued to batter much of Britain.

The capital's main flood defence was shut as bitter northerly winds swept down the east coast and combined with high spring tides to create a half metre surge on the incoming tide.

Despite today heralding the official start of spring, Britain is in the grip of some of the coldest weather of the winter.

Icy blasts, which brought an overnight deluge of snow to northern parts of Scotland and England, are expected to last for the rest of the week. Temperatures across England and Wales will be around 3C-5C but in snow-covered areas temperatures are unlikely to climb above freezing.

Overnight temperatures in northern Scotland could plummet to minus 10C.