It’s been 100 years since Moscow had such a lot of snow, said Moscow Deputy Mayor for Housing, Utilities and Amenities Pyotr Biryukov.
In all, 45 centimetres of snow has fallen since Sunday, which is more than the monthly average. As of now, the main roads have been cleared from snow and there are no disruptions to the public transport services. “Some 1.2 million cubic metres of snow have been removed from Moscow streets since yesterday,” Biryukov said. “Snow removal work will continue. The number of crews has been increased.”
The Deputy Mayor advised people in Moscow to use public transport in the next few days and asked drivers not to get in the way of the utility crews.
Roofs and courtyards are also being cleared. “If we work as scheduled, it will take us nine days to remove all the snow. We don’t have that much time, and will try to do it faster,” Biryukov said.
Snow removal efforts are complicated by a sharp drop in temperature and the ongoing snowfall. Thus, in the next three days, eight more centimetres of snow are expected, as well as heavy winds, blizzards and black ice. During the night, the temperatures will drop to between minus 15-17 degrees Celsius.
Due to the weather conditions, Moscow schools are on flexible attendance schedules. Medical institutions of the Moscow Healthcare Department are working overtime.
“All utility lines in Moscow are operating as scheduled. There have been no power cuts or disruptions in the heating and water supplies,” Biryukov said.
Over 5,000 utility crew members are clearing snow near the metro and Moscow Central Circle (MCC) stations. Mosgortrans crews have removed snow from traffic circles, tram tracks and turns, while the Traffic Management Centre services are dealing with broken road signs and traffic lights.