HARBIN, China, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Electric utilities officials said crews were repairing downed power lines Monday after parts of northeastern China were hit by more than a foot of snow.
The ongoing snow and cold temperatures in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces crashed 23 power grids, leading to power blackouts and the closing of schools and roads, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported, adding that hundreds of thousands of customers were affected.
In the city of Hegan, where China Daily reported 12 1/2 inches of snow had already fallen, water supplies were cut off by what local meteorologists called the worst snowstorm in five decades.
The storm was forecast to drop up to 15 more centimeters (6 inches) of snow Tuesday with continued cold temperatures and snow expected through Friday, though the National Meteorological Center downgraded its alert from orange to yellow, China Daily said.
The newspaper said the provincial traffic bureau said three highways through Heilongjiang were closed.
Operations at Harbin Taiping International Airport, however, were close to normal, a staff member told the newspaper.