Bulgaria continues recovery efforts after weekend’s snowfalls and powerful winds

Work was continuing on November 28 to restore power and water supply to small settlements in rural areas of Bulgaria still left without after this past weekend’s heavy snowfalls and strong winds that caused widespread disruption in the country.

Many villages in north-eastern Bulgaria remained without electricity, as did several villages around Sliven and in the Plovdiv district, reports on November 28 said.

In total, about 140 000 households in Bulgaria had no electricity supply.

Across the country, 55 schools – a small fraction of the country’s total – remained closed, while 17 were on distance learning.

Bulgarian National Radio said that dozens of municipalities in the country remained in a state of emergency, and this also applied to the entire Razgrad district.

Some third-class roads in north-eastern Bulgaria were still closed, Dessislava Paunova, a member of the board of the Road Infrastructure Agency, told Bulgarian National Television.

“We are working extremely intensively. On the territory of the Razgrad region, where the situation was the worst yesterday, as of this morning, the main road arteries are open. We hope that within the day we will open the entire road network,” Paunova said.

Paunova said that the numerous cars that had taken to the roads at the weekend while still fitted with summer tyres had created additional difficulties for traffic during the weekend and for the work of the agency.

“We witnessed many cars with summer tyres, which create additional difficulties. Every single car that gets stuck means that we have to redirect the equipment to free the vehicle and only then resume snow removal,” she said.

Sofia municipality said on November 28 that on Monday, more than 360 reports of fallen and broken branches and trees had been dealt with by teams from the municipality and from the firefighting and civil defence directorate. At the weekend, reports of trees and branches that had fallen because of the heavy snowfall and strong winds ran into four figures.

The statement quoted Sofia mayor Vassil Terziev as thanking everyone who “literally did not sleep for the last more than 48 hours so that we could unclog the city.”

A general meeting will be held this week, Terziev said, at which “we will assess what we did well, what we did not, in order to to be even more effective when we have such an extreme situation, and to be even more adequate in our response”.

By order of the mayor of Sofia, all metropolitan areas have the task of inspecting and taking measures to clear the fallen trees.

Refuse collection companies are also involved in the removal of broken branches in the city’s neighbourhoods.

The municipality said that the wood collected is transported to the installation in Han Bogrov, where compost will be produced from it to enrich the city’s green spaces and parks.

The Metropolitan Inspectorate was carrying out constant checks of the work of the cleaning companies.

Fines of about 120 000 leva were imposed for poor performance in cleaning streets and public transport stops, the municipality said.

Bulgaria’s weather bureau has issued the Code Yellow warning of potentially dangerous weather for November 28 for 14 districts: Sofia city, Vratsa, Lovech, Gabrovo, Veliko Turnovo, Turgovishte, Shoumen, Dobrich, Varna, Bourgas, Yambol, Haskovo, Kurdzhali, and Sofia district.

(Photo: Sofia municipality)

Please support The Sofia Globe by signing up to become a subscriber to our page on Patreon:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292