100-year snow paralyzes Moscow

Feb. 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM
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MOSCOW, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Moscow residents lost power and got into traffic accidents following the heaviest snowfall in a century to hit the Russian capital, officials said.

And to make matters worse, weather forecasters said the snow is expected to continue at least until the end of the week, The Moscow Times reported Wednesday.

"There hasn't been such a winter in 100 years," said Pyotr Biryukov, Moscow's deputy mayor for residential issues. "The snow this year has already reached 1 1/2 times the climatic normal."

Biryukov said since the beginning of winter the capital has had 85 inches of snow, far more than the yearly average of 59 inches.

Traffic police said they counted more than 3,000 minor accidents in a 24-hour period while the Emergency Situations Ministry said the snow knocked out power to some 1,500 residents.

The total length of traffic jams in the city reached 2,175 miles, equal to the distance between Moscow and Madrid, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's plane had to be rerouted to St. Petersburg after the storm prevented it from landing in Moscow.

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