Snow and wind paralyze European airports, trap drivers

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Snow and wind paralyze European airports, trap drivers
Snow and wind paralyze European airports, trap drivers

GENEVA (AP) – Exceptional snow and wind forced airports to close Thursday in Scotland, Switzerland and France and stranded several hundred drivers in their cars as a Siberian cold snap stretched across Europe.

Geneva’s airport closed after the Swiss city was hit with 13 centimeters (about five inches) of snow over a three-hour period in the early morning.

The airport’s website says passengers should stay away for the time being and check with their airlines to see if their flights are still scheduled. Airport spokesman Sebastien Leprat said that tricky weather conditions across Europe could cause extended delays.

Several deaths have been attributed to the unusually cold late-winter weather across Europe. The fatalities include a man in his 60s who was pronounced dead after being pulled from a frozen lake in London on Wednesday, the city ambulance service said.

Snow shut Glasgow and Edinburgh airports in Scotland, and there are cancellations at Heathrow and other airports in Britain. Airports in the southern French cities of Montpellier and the Atlantic beach resort of Biarritz were also affected.

Hundreds of drivers were trapped in their cars overnight in Scotland and authorities said everyone except emergency-services workers should stay off the roads.

Police in the county of Lincolnshire in eastern England say most roads there are impassable, with as much as two feet (60 centimeters) of snow in rural areas.

Forecasters say a new storm is due to bring blizzards, freezing rain and thunderstorms to Ireland, southwestern England and Wales on Thursday.

About 2,000 cars were blocked on highways in the Herault region of southern France, where snow – and snowplows – are extremely rare.

Snow blanketed Paris and the surrounding region Thursday, and authorities urged Paris commuters to leave their cars at home because of dangerous conditions.

The fire brigade of Airport Security Services (SSA) rides snowplows removing snow on the runway during at the Geneva Airport, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, March 1, 2018. Geneva’s airport has been closed “until further notice” after the Swiss city was blanketed by snowfall overnight. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
Sylvain rides his snowboard on a snow-covered street during a snowfall in Lausanne, Switzerland, Thursday, March 1, 2018. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)
Passengers queue in the hall of the Geneva International Airport as the airport is temporarily closed because of heavy snowfalls, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, March 1, 2018. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
Icicles hang on a branch on the shore of Lake Alpnachersee in Alpnach, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. An extreme Siberian cold snap sweeping across Europe is claiming lives in Poland and Romania, but also dusted the ancient ruins of Pompeii with snow Tuesday and prompted Amsterdam authorities to prepare the city’s iconic canals for ice-skaters. (Urs Flueeler/Keystone via AP)
The fire brigade of Airport Security Services (SSA) ride a snowplow removing snow on the runway at the Geneva Airport, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, March 1, 2018. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
The icy Alfred Escher fountain is pictured in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. An extreme Siberian cold snap sweeping across Europe is claiming lives in Poland and Romania, but also dusted the ancient ruins of Pompeii with snow Tuesday and prompted Amsterdam authorities to prepare the city’s iconic canals for ice-skaters. (Melanie Duchene/Keystone via AP)
A man rides a bike under a heavy snow as public transport and cars can hardly move in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March 1, 2018. Temperatures dipped to -14 degree Celsius (6.8 degree Fahrenheit) in Kiev and heavy snowfalls have hit the country over the past few days. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
A cargo train runs on the snow-covered rail tracks near Bakonyszentlaszlo, 134 kms southwest of Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, when large parts of the country are overcast with snow, mainly in the southwest. (Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP)
Forest officer Ansgar Pape checks the gigantic icicles and the ice walls during his inspection tour along the Hochwald cave (Hochwaldgrotte) at the Thuringian Forest near Eisenach, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. The winter weather with temperatures around far below the freezing point will continue next days, according to forecasts. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
A woman shovels snow in Bredstedt, northern Germany, Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018. An extreme Siberian cold snap sweeping across Europe is claiming lives in Poland and Romania, but also dusted the ancient ruins of Pompeii with snow Tuesday and prompted Amsterdam authorities to prepare the city’s iconic canals for ice-skaters. (Frank Molter/dpa via AP)
People ride on traditional cart through the snow and wind in the village of Podberezhie, 50 km (31 miles) southeast of Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Daily temperatures dropped to -13 C ( -8,6 F) in Belarus. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
A teenager smiles as the snow covers her face, in Pamplona northern Spain, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Authorities predicted heavy snowfall and extreme low temperatures across Northern Spain. (AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)
Victor the polar bear plays in the snow at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster, north England, Wednesday Feb. 28, 2018. Britain, which is buffered by the Atlantic Ocean and tends to have temperate winters, saw heavy snow in some areas that disrupted road, rail and air travel and forced hundreds of schools to close. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)
A squirrel eats grains from a bird feeder in Lazienki park on a cold sunny day in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. An extreme Siberian cold snap sweeping across Europe is claiming lives in Poland and Romania, but also dusted the ancient ruins of Pompeii with snow Tuesday and prompted Amsterdam authorities to prepare the city’s iconic canals for ice-skaters. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
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