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Heavy snowfall cuts off electr in many areas around Moscow
Sunday, April 10th 2011, 2:32 PM GMT
Co2sceptic (Site Admin)
MOSCOW, April 9 (Itar-Tass) -- The heavy snowfall, which swept the capital and the surrounding region overnight and is still continuing, and gusts of wind have cut off electricity supply from a number of power lines, a source at the Moscow Integrated Electricity Distribution Company said on Saturday.

"As of 10:00, problems with electricity supply are experienced by residents in the Moscow Region’s 70 localities with the population of about 3,000 people. The main strike of the snowfall hit the south and the east of the suburban region. In particular, 123 transformer substations are cut off in the Ramenskoye district, 56 in the Podolsk district, 54 in the Chekhov district, 51 in the Stupino district and 47 in the Kolomna district, said the company’s report received by Itar-Tass.

On the whole in the Moscow region, 481 substations were cut off as of 10:00.

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At 10:00 on Saturday morning, 48 repair teams of the company were working on the lines. The groups will be reinforced during the day.

In connection with the adverse weather forecasts, the company has prepared reserve power supply sources for work -- mobile power stations and diesel generator units – to promptly bring them to areas of the region, where the restoration of power supply may be delayed.

The company cooperates with local authorities and services of the Emergencies Ministry.

Moscow’s authorities ask drivers not to park under trees and pedestrians to be extremely careful, as sticking wet snow falling in the capital from the night has already caused breaks of trees. As the snowfall is continuing, it is likely that some more trees weakened by last December’ s freezing rain will not stand the new trial and may also fall.

According to the press secretary of the deputy mayor for housing and public works, Igor Pergamenshchik, damage to the green "belt" of the capital is being estimated now – the information about the number of fallen trees will be known only after the snowfall ends, and all broken and fallen trees will be found and registered. However, Pergamenshchik said, emergency crews, responding to all the calls, immediately go to the sites to cut and remove fallen trees.

According to the spokesman, now the city’s all appropriate services are operating in the emergency. The Moscow water drain service is working to clear rainwater drain lattices of snow to ensure outflows of water from roads. The urban infrastructure work is not affected by the snowfall. All the life-support services are working as normal, Pergamenshchik added.

The capital’s weather bureau says the snowfall in Moscow will last for one day longer. "With varying intensity and short breaks, it will continue to snow this Saturday, the next night and end on Sunday afternoon," a meteo-bureau source said.

The source noted that over the past day a third of the monthly precipitation norm (in April it is 44 mm) fell in the city - up to 18 mm of wet snow with rain.

In connection with the winter weather return in the Moscow region, the capital’s traffic police recommend drivers not to replace tires of their cars with "summer" ones and if possible not to go around the city for the time being.

"Due to the deteriorating weather conditions, the traffic police of Moscow addresses drivers, asking them to be extremely careful, keep a safe distance, choose a speed with taking into consideration the adverse weather conditions and avoid sudden braking," a police press service official told Itar-Tass.

The police also warned about possible icing of bridges and overpasses.

"If possible, refrain from driving in the city and premature setting of "summer" tires," he added.

Moscow’s authorities hope to cope with the snow during the day. As press secretary Pergamenshchik said, overnight anti-icing reagents were poured on roads, and at 09:00 snow-removal machines went onto streets. During the day, the precipitation level is expected to rise one-three mm. However, as the temperature is forecast to rise to 6 degrees Centigrade, urban services hope to clear the roads of wet snow soon.

According to the meteorological service of Moscow and the Moscow Region, the precipitation level was 9 mm overnight.

The month pressure record was beaten in Moscow on Saturday. In the morning, the pressure in the capital fell to a record low level -- 713.5 mm Hg (951.3 hPa), with the normal level of 750 mm.

The city’s weather bureau reported Moscow was in the centre of a deep cyclone. "Not only the day record is beaten, but also for April. The previous month absolute minimum of air pressure in Moscow was 718.4 mm Hg (957.8 hPa) on April 18, 1967, a bureau source explained. Now the historic minimum of pressure for April in Moscow is 713.5 (951.3) mm. It was recorded at the meteorological station at the city’s Exhibition Centre (VDNKh), the Meteonovosti website said.
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