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Snow causes traffic chaos in western Austria

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Snow causes traffic chaos in western Austria
File Photo: ÖBB/Steiner
10:43 CET+01:00
Winter will hit Austria this week with snow forecast for mid-mountain level. It will be noticeably colder with morning temperatures as low as -11C, especially in the west of the country.

Heavy snowfall in Tyrol caused chaos and traffic jams on the Brenner Pass motorway on Sunday. There’s also been the first snowfall in the city of Salzburg and the surrounding countryside.

Dense snow drifts over the weekend caused tailbacks on the motorway at Matrei in Tyrol. "Some trucks just couldn’t move and blocked the motorway," a spokesman from the Asfinag autobahn company said.

Some drivers who hadn’t switched to winter tyres were caught out by the sudden snowfall, and had to stop on the motorway and put snow chains on their vehicles. The road quickly became blocked, with a two kilometre-long traffic jam.

An Asfinag spokesman said that the trucks had to be towed off the road and that as the snowfall gradually died down the situation became calmer. 16 Asfinag tow trucks were in use on the Brenner motorway, and by the evening all the lanes had been freed up.

This week, the snow line is due to fall to below 500 metres across the country, which could result in more chaos on the roads. On the plus side, if temperatures remain low the winter sports season could begin earlier than usual. The first ski lifts are due to open on November 16th - but this date could change if conditions allow.

 
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