Bad weather causes continued traffic disruption in north-eastern Bulgaria

Traffic disruptions continued on January 30 in north-eastern Bulgaria, the area affected the worst by the snowstorms earlier this week, but no new weather warnings had been issued for the country.

In the district of Silistra, most roads remained closed to traffic, with snowploughs working to clear the major roads linking Silistra to Shoumen and Rousse, Bulgarian news agency Focus reported.

In the district of Varna, most road were open to traffic, provided motorists used snow-chains. A number of roads remained closed down, including the road between Varna and Dobrich, Focus said.

Some road closures were also in effect in the districts of Dobrich, where about 100 cars and four buses had to be dug out of snow overnight, and Bourgas, where snow drifts in some areas reached as high as two metres.

The traffic disruptions caused a 15km-long queue of lorries at the Danube Bridge between Rousse and Giurgiu. Many lorries had been forced to wait out the snowstorms earlier this week at parking sites throughout the country and were now caught in the bottleneck at the bridge.

Yet the disruptions in Bulgaria paled in comparison to the situation in Romania, where many roads – including major ones between capital city Bucharest and the port of Constanta, as well as the town of Ploiesti in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains – remained closed to traffic as authorities struggled to clear the snow drifts.

The bad weather in Romania also prompted Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin to cancel his planned trip to Bucharest, Bulgarian news agency BTA reported on January 30.

Weather forecasts predicted that the recent snowstorms would be followed by an incoming cold spell that would push daily lows to under -15C in certain parts of the country, daily newspaper Evenimentul Zilei reported.

In Bulgaria, the country’s meteorology institute forecast that the current bad weather spell, expected to continue through the weekend, will be followed by a warming up. The bulk of February will see temperatures higher than average throughout the country, with precipitation levels at, or slightly above, average.

(Photo: Michael Hornak)



The Sofia Globe staff

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