HZS JMK (Illustrative photo)

Transport Failures and Homes Left Without Electricity Due to Ice and Snow

Winter stops play in the Czech Republic: a series of collisions on roads have been reported since Sunday, firefighters have been responding to accidents and fallen trees, 13,000 homes have no electricity, and railways are experiencing disruption across the country. According to the weather forecast, similar conditions are expected to last throughout the week. Photo credit: HZS JMK. 

Brno, Feb 8 (BD) – Since Sunday, poor weather conditions have caused significant disruption to transport in the Czech Republic. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI) has issued a warning for high likelihood of heavy frost until further notice. Police are advising that the roads are passable, but drivers should proceed with caution. 

Around 8am this morning, the D1 motorway in the direction of Brno was closed due to the formation of a column of trucks – it has since reopened and is now fully passable. Particular caution is advised on this motorway at km 230 – 246. 

Across the country, police recorded over 60 traffic accidents on Sunday, mostly minor collisions. Before 9am this morning, 30 car accidents were reported. Throughout the day on Sunday, South Moravian firefighters responded to 13 traffic accidents, in which six people were injured. Overnight and this morning, firefighters worked to clear fallen trees and branches from roads, mainly in the Brno and Znojmo regions. 

Major railway operator České Dráhy reported problems on over 20 lines this morning. The carrier explained that “Due to snow and frost, there were failures of switches, technical problems with traction lines, and vehicle failures.” Railway workers are working to clear the tracks. 

Public transportation in Brno is operating with less disruption, thanks to preventative measures. Brno Transport Company (DPMB) treated the overhead lines with antifreeze and are heating the switches to prevent failures in the transport network.

Snow and black ice is not just disrupting transport. Due to heavy ice on high voltage wires, over 13,000 households in South Moravia are without electricity. Electricity and gas distributor EG.D, formerly E.ON, has reported a large number of power outages in the Brno-Venkov and Hodonín districts, as well as in the vicinity of Znojmo.

According to the forecast by the CHMI, occasional snow is expected every day for the rest of the week. Air temperature is expected to drop as low as -12°C at night on Tuesday and Wednesday. To mitigate the risk of frostbite on unprotected areas of the body, several layers of warm clothing and proper shoes are recommended. CHMI also suggests that young children, the sick and the elderly should limit time spent outdoors. 

“It snowed heavily during the night, with up to 15cm of powder snow. The most snow fell on the border of Central and Eastern Bohemia and in the Jeseníky and Orlické Mountains,” stated the CHMI.

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