Trucks formed long convoys in both directions and even snowploughs had trouble getting through.
Due to dangerous driving conditions and the need to clear snow the motorway was closed between the Brenner pass and Schönberg for a distance of around 20 km to all traffic for several hours, a spokeswoman for the Austrian motoring association (ÖAMTC) told the Austrian Press Agency.
Trucks travelling in the direction of Italy were stopped at Vomp and had to park on the hard shoulder of the Inn Valley motorway.
The B182 road near Gries am Brenner also had to be closed to cars. There was some criticism of truck drivers. “We need road users to cooperate but some truck drivers insisted on overtaking slower vehicles and then of course couldn’t go any further - so we had a situation where trucks were parked across the entire carriageway,” one driver told local radio station ORF Tyrol.
There has been a weather warning since Wednesday for East Tyrol and Upper Carinthia - but with no major problems so far.
The Lienz basin has had heavy rain since Wednesday afternoon. The local fire department has been busy damming streams that threatened to burst their banks.
The Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) has warned East Tyrol and Upper Carinthia to expect heavy rain in the coming days. Lesachtal, Gailtal and Drautal in Upper Carinthia are all at risk of floods and mudslides.
A woman in Innervillgraten, Lienz, lost control of her car due to heavy rain and ended up in a creek. The 49-year-old was rescued by the fire service and was uninjured.