Bulgaria braces for bad weather, possible snow

The sunny spell over Bulgaria is set to come to an end on Thursday, October 23, when temperatures are expected to drop abruptly as a cold front will sweep across the country.

A “code yellow” weather warning has been issued for rain and strong winds, covering all but seven districts ­­­– Lovech, Gabrovo, Veliko Turnovo, Blagoevgrad, Smolyan, Kurdjali and Haskovo – for which the weather warning stands at “code orange”.

In the town of Zlatograd in Smolyan district, Bulgaria’s Environment Ministry has issued a “code red” warning, expecting possible flooding of the Vurbitsa River. Local authorities said that they had drained part of the accumulation lake upriver to make space for the expected heavy rainfall but were prepared to evacuate people if the river level rose drastically.

The cold spell is forecast to push temperatures low enough for rain to turn into snow on Saturday, October 25 and will continue until the middle of next week, although no rain or snow has been forecast beyond the weekend.

The prospect of the first snow of the year outside mountainous areas has once again highlighted the poor state of Bulgaria’s roads. The head of the country’s road infrastructure agency Lazar Lazarov told Focus news agency that the companies tasked with road cleaning were prepared for the winter season, but urgent repairs were needed to prevent further deterioration of roads.

“If we do not spend about 15 million leva to prepare the roads for winter right now, then patching up those same roads in spring will cost three times more,” he was quoted as saying.

Lazarov said that the agency did not have the required money to carry out the repairs, having expected to receive additional funding as part of a Budget revision that has not been carried out.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

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