Monday, 20. October 2014
06. 01. 12. - 12:00
Ski resorts forced to remain closed by a lack of snow in December have now been forced to close many runs because of too much snow.
Ski resorts across Austria and Switzerland say they are now struggling to cope after metres of snow combined with high winds and stormy conditions over the past 48 hours left runs blocked or in danger of avalanches.
Changeable temperatures combined with high winds and new snow has put many ski resorts across Tirol, Salzburg and Vorarlberg on high avalanche alert. Temperatures are expected to drop dramatically over the weekend and winds today (Friday) have already reached over 170 kph making conditions even more treacherous.
Avalanche experts are working around the clock to assess the risks and where necessary and possible are carrying out controlled detonations. Rudi Mair, manager of the avalanche action team in Tirol said: "With winds peaking at 170 kph we can safely talk about a hurricane. Heavy new snow, freezing temperatures and the hurricane we are talking about high risk. The avalanche risk across Tirol is high and it will rise.
The high winds in particular are a threat to ski lifts which have been forced to close as the winds from "Hurricane Andrea" are too high - making conditions highly dangerous. The high winds also risk dislodging snow from high peaks.
Herbert Kaufmann form Dornbirn Seilbahn AG - the lift company in Dornbirn, Voarlberg said: "We have around twenty people stuck in the restaurant at the top of the mountain still as we are unable to put the lifts back into action. But at least the chef is stuck too and he can make food."
Winter safety expert Erich Schwarzler from the Austrian province of Vorarlberg said: "We are on high alert, we have army helicopters and avalanche teams on 24 hour standby.
The avalanche risk in Tirol is already on the second highest risk level 4 and is expected to rise over the next 24 hours possibly to the highest risk level 5.
There has been a high number of avalanche deaths over the past few days in Austria and many others injured. Earlier this week a group of four ski guides from Vorarlberg, Austria, were buried beneath a mound of snow whilst skiing in Graubunden, Switzerland and two of them died as a result.
Meanwhile Tirol rescuers reported yesterday (Thurs) they were attending an emergency call out nearly once a minute between 17.00 and 18.00 in the Austrian Alps due to the severe weather conditions. Police in Tirol confirmed thousands of households have been left without power as a result of the weather conditions.
Many roads have been blocked and passes are completely impassable in popular ski areas such as Lech, Zurs and Warth. Poeple have had to be rescued form cars including four people who were rescued from their snow covered car in Upper Austria last night (Thurs).
Rescuers expect a busy weekend. Anton Mattle, mayor of Galtuer and Paznaun in the Tirol has assures the region "is ready to cope with the conditions"
"In the worst case scenario we are ready to evacuate people living in affected areas. We have rescuers and helicopters on standby if the conditions deteriorate to dangerous levels in affected areas."
MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.
Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.
There was a festival atmosphere as Bundespresident Heinz Fischer opened Vienna's new Hauptbahnhof Friday morning.
Apple Truck Causes Traffic Jam
When 24 tonnes of apples are catapulted across a road it can only mean a jam.
Farmer Cleared Over Wolf Shooting
Furious animal rights campaigners have accused an Austrian farmer of lying after he shot dead a wolf that he claimed he thought was a fox.
Rare Bald Ibis Makes Microlight Flight To Italy
The project to introduce an extinct bird back to Europe is hailing success after successfully negotiating a new route over the Alps and training 14 Northern Bald Ibises how to fly south to winter feeding grounds in southern Tuscany.
Pat On The Back From Manure Explosive
A traffic cop in Austria got more than he bargained for after a booby trap covered him head-to-toe in manure as he was trying to catch people speeding.
Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.
Perversion of a Medical Dream
The Decline and Fall of the Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna.
Fat Can Be Used To Burn Off Weight After New Patent Unveiled
It is being hailed as a sensation after scientists at an Austrian university patented a method that transforms fat storing cells into mini factories capable of actually destroying fat by burning it off.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Postman Dad Goes Postal With Daughter|
|Ex Lawyer And Tolkien Fan Builds Hobbit Home Near Highway|
|MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed|
|Slovak Plan To Give Gypsies Free Flights To UK|
|Border Guards Seize Radioactive Cigarettes|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.