LONDON — Europe's Big Freeze turned into the Big Thaw in most places Friday as temperatures rose and the threat of flooding began.
The two-week Arctic cold front loosened its grip on most parts of Europe as temperatures rose above freezing. From Britain to Scandinavia, schools reopened, roads were cleared and trains resumed their schedules.
The temperature reached 36 degrees in London and Madrid and 57 in Rome. Athens was a balmy 63. But with the Big Thaw came the threat of floods from ice-swollen rivers and broken water pipes.
In London, officials were inundated with calls from residents whose frozen Victorian Era pipes had thawed and burst. Offices and homes in Stockholm also reported flooding as the temperature climbed to 14 degrees.