Moscow snow delays flights, cancels school
A weekend-long snowstorm in Moscow has delayed flights, cut power supplies to nearby villages and even prompted authorities to call a snow day — a highly unusual occurrence in the frost-resistant Russian capital.
The Meteorological Office said Monday that more than a month’s average of snow fell on Moscow over the weekend, with the height of snow now reaching up to 55 centimeters in some parts of the capital.
In a city where school is rarely ever canceled, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said parents were not expected to take children to school Monday.
Moscow roads Monday morning were congested but the city did not see a complete gridlock as many had feared.
Snowplows were working in the city all weekend, clearing a record 1.2 million cubic meters of snow from the streets, Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov told Russian news agencies.
He hailed utility workers for allowing Moscow to function as normal.
“There is no collapse, no catastrophe,” Sobyanin said. “The city is functioning as normal.”
The mayor said on Sunday that the sheer weight of snow had toppled 2,000 trees, and the city authorities said more than 100 of those fell on cars.
“One person died from a falling tree that hit an electric power line,” he said on his VKontakte social media page.
Monday morning, more than 100 flights were delayed at Moscow’s airports, Interfax reported.
Outside Moscow, the snowfall was so bad that local authorities had asked the army to send in the troops and trucks to help clear out the snow, the Defense Ministry said Monday.