February 27, 2024

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Chaos in the Alps due to the storm: roads closed, trees down, cars off the track, ski areas closed |  News

Chaos in the Alps due to the storm: roads closed, trees down, cars off the track, ski areas closed | News

The Christmas holidays started chaotically in various places in the Alps. Winter rains cause dangerous conditions and road closures. The strong winds caused trees to fall on power lines, cutting off power to thousands of people. Ski areas open only a few lifts or even remain closed completely. Avalanche danger is high. The stormy weather is expected to continue until Christmas Day.

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Winter sports nations will be hit by Storm Zoltan on Friday and Saturday. This affects Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and others. Wind speed is expected to reach between 100 to 150 kilometers per hour. In addition, up to a meter of snow is expected.

In Austria, stormy weather led to great chaos on Friday. Wind gusts of up to 90 km/h were measured in the valleys, and up to 160 km/h in the mountains. Fallen trees that fell on power lines left thousands of families without power for hours. This was the case in the Stubai Valley, near Kitzbühel and Achensee.

Due to fallen trees, slippery conditions and the risk of avalanches and landslides, many roads in Tyrol are also closed. The villages near Boden and Pschlabs were completely inaccessible. Roads were also closed in the Stubai Valley and the area around St. Anton am Arlberg, both popular ski areas.

In some parts of Tyrol, the risk of avalanches is high today, especially at higher altitudes.

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look. Winter rains cause dangerous situations and road closures in the Alps

Dead person

In Lower Austria, in the Tolln region, a person was killed yesterday by a falling tree. It was about a hunter who, despite the storm, ventured into the forest to hunt wild boars.

Emergency services in Lower Austria had to remove many trees that were uprooted or fell on power and telephone lines, especially in the southwest.

Last night, around 11pm, a 25-year-old driver's car was swept off the road by a mudslide and hit a tree at a depth of three to four metres. The car was a complete loss. The driver suffered minor injuries, but the passenger was not harmed.

An accident also occurred on the B36 in Waidhofen an der Thaya due to a tree falling on the road. The driver was unable to brake in time and headed under the tree. The car was damaged, but fortunately its occupants were not injured.

The fire brigade had to deal with hundreds of calls last night due to the storm and heavy rain.

Air traffic was disrupted at Innsbruck Airport. Some planes failed to land and had to be diverted. Many flights had to be cancelled.

Images from Stubai (left) and Ischgl (right) in Austria, where lifts and slopes remain closed. © Stupay/Instagram

Ski areas are closed

In the Sivrita square, with Eshel and Semnon, and in the Stubai Valley, ski slopes remained closed on Friday morning. In many other places, only a limited number of elevators are open or their operating hours have been changed. This was the case in Zell am See-Kaprun, Zillertal, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, and others. Throughout Austria, the avalanche danger above the tree line is 4 on a scale of 5.

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France and Italy

Winds also blew strongly in the Southern Alps on Friday. In the French Gap area, among other places, several trees were blown down by wind gusts reaching speeds of about 120 km/h.

In South Tyrol, Italy, a wind speed of 181 km/h was measured at the meteorological station in Val Venosta, at an altitude of about 3,000 metres, a record since the meteorological station began operating in 2000.

Floods in Germany

In Germany, train traffic was disrupted on many long-distance lines due to damage caused by Storm Zoltan. Many trains were delayed or cancelled, especially in the north. This portion has been submerged from the center up to waist height. Heavy rain or snow is expected in some areas today. Authorities warned of major flooding in parts of the states of Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Bavaria. The Elbe River has already burst its banks in Hamburg.

The German Meteorological Service (DWD) expects new snowfall from the Thuringia Forest to the Bavarian Forest, at altitudes of more than 600 to 800 metres. In the Uri Mountains, a lot of snow can fall in a short time, increasing the risk of trees falling and breaking branches.

More snow on the way

According to the website “Sneeuwhoogte.nl”, a lot of snow will also fall in the Austrian Alps on Friday night at an altitude of between 800 and 1,000 metres. Snow may reach half a meter. In the French and Italian Alps, there is still a chance of an additional ten centimeters of snow falling.

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