Accidents and avalanche danger due to snow in Austria

by time news

A strong onset of winter on Thursday night made Austria mostly white, but it also led to numerous accidents and road closures in early morning traffic. In Vienna, for example, a public bus slid against a mast in the Danube city, which resulted in nine injuries. Overall, however, there was hardly a federal state from Burgenland to Vorarlberg that was not affected by the snowfall. The avalanche danger was mostly at level “3”, in Tyrol it was widespread at “4”.

In Vienna, the professional fire brigade had to do with around 15 weather-related accidents, which, apart from the bus accident, were rather mild. According to Gerald Schimpf, spokesman for the professional fire brigade, the bus slid into the mast around 6 a.m. on Heidjöchl in the Hirschstetten district. The driver and eight passengers, one of them seriously, were injured.

The snow led to numerous traffic accidents in Lower Austria. Several vehicles had to be recovered. According to the information, the focus of the operations was in the Hollabrunn district and south of Vienna. At higher altitudes there was a considerable risk of avalanches. According to the police, ten of 44 accidents between 6 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. occurred in the Hollabrunn district. People were injured twice.

According to the state press service, the precipitation was most intense in the Waldviertel and the industrial district, where up to 15 centimeters of fresh snow was measured in the morning. Up to ten centimeters were recorded in the Weinviertel and Mostviertel. In the Neulengbach area (St. Pölten-Land district) and Poysdorf (Mistelbach district) there were sections of light snowdrifts. In Mistelbach and Scheibbs, ground fog prevailed in places with visibility between 50 and 100 meters.

With regard to the avalanche danger, level 3 on the five-part scale applied on Thursday in the Ybbstal Alps, in the Gippel-Göller area and in the Rax-Schneeberg region above 1,500 meters. “Above all, it is important to pay attention to the drifting snow that has arisen or continues to arise as a result of repeated wind changes and fresh snow in the extended east and north exposures,” was explained in the report by the warning service. A slab release could already be done by the low additional load of a single tour skier, it said. In the Semmering changeover area, the risk above the tree line was assessed as “moderate” (level 2), in the other regions and in lower locations as “low” (level 1).

According to the state press service, chains were mandatory for all vehicles on the L3086 between Klement (Korneuburg district) and the L3085 and on the L41 near Weitersfeld (Horn district). For vehicles from 3.5 tons and from 7.5 tons, numerous other routes were only passable with chains.

In Burgenland, the emergency services went out to rescue numerous vehicles at night and in the morning due to the heavy snowfall. The districts of Oberwart, Güssing and Jennersdorf were particularly affected. There were also occasional cars and trucks that got stuck in the north of the country, according to the state security center for the APA. According to the LSZ, 15 missions were recorded during the night, no one was injured. In the morning, paramedics also had to take care of a few people who had been injured in falls.

In Styria it snowed especially in southern Styria and also in the provincial capital Graz. The north was already bathed in white before that. The fire brigades had to move out on several missions. For example, the fire brigade in St. Stefan im Rosental in the district of Southeast Styria spoke of a “snow chaos on the L203”. Vehicles could no longer conquer the steep slopes of Ottersbacherstrasse. As a result, several cars got stuck, it said in the dispatch of the emergency services.

In the Mariazell area in particular and in northern Eastern Styria, chains were required for vehicles on numerous streets: even on the southern autobahn (A2), heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes between Mooskirchen and Modriach and between Pinggau-Friedberg and Aspang had to pull snow chains on. There were no serious accidents for the time being.

In Carinthia, too, there were massive traffic disruptions: As the state alarm and warning center (LAWZ) announced on APA request, around 40 missions were recorded in the morning because of the weather. These were spread across the whole country, on the one hand vehicles that got stuck or that had gone off the road had to be recovered, and on the other hand, trees that had fallen over due to the snow load often blocked the streets.

On Wednesday evening there was an accident on the Liemberger Landesstraße near Feldkirchen due to the snowfall. An 18-year-old man skidded in his car on a sloping right-hand bend on the slippery snow surface. The car turned 180 degrees and came into the opposite lane, where the man collided with a car driven by a 42-year-old woman. The man was injured and brought to the Klagenfurt Clinic, the woman and her 20-year-old daughter were slightly injured.

In the morning there was a chain obligation on almost all the higher roads in Carinthia. But it was also advisable to drive carefully in the valleys: On the Seeberg Straße (B82) in the St. Veit an der Glan district, there was a driving ban for trucks over 7.5 tons. On the Tauernautobahn (A10) the Oswaldibergtunnel was closed due to a truck accident after the tunnel in the direction of Salzburg, also on the Südautobahn (A2) there were roadblocks during the night because trucks got stuck near Wolfsberg. And on the A2 at the state border, trucks with more than 7.5 tonnes in weight were not allowed to enter Italy because of the heavy snowfall, the trucks were stopped in Arnoldstein and parked in the second lane.

The far west of the country was also affected, and Vorarlberg also reported traffic obstructions and fire brigade operations. The Feldkirch rescue and fire brigade control center (RFL) recorded 23 missions up to 7 a.m., the hotspot was the greater Feldkirch area with 14 missions. In some communities in the Feldkirch district, according to ORF Radio Vorarlberg, the electricity went out at night, but in the morning all households were again supplied with electricity. The higher-lying communities of Fraxern and Viktorsberg and the town of Dafins, which belongs to Zwischenwasser, were affected by the power failure. When the amount of fresh snow was 20 to 30 centimeters, and locally more, the fire brigade operations mostly related to kinked trees that laid roads and cars that had slipped off the lane.

Due to the road situation, road users generally made slow progress. In Röthis (Feldkirch district) a car driver got off the slippery road surface and hit a tree, in Lustenau a driver landed in a ditch on Senderstraße and in Nüziders (Bludenz district) a stuck truck blocked the motorway exit. The ÖAMTC reported backwater on the Rheintalautobahn (A14) near Hörbranz (Bregenz district) due to an accident with four trucks near Lindau (Bavaria) in the direction of Munich. On numerous higher roads in Vorarlberg, snow chains were compulsory for trucks, and on some routes for everyone.

The Vorarlberg state warning center estimated the avalanche danger due to the large amounts of fresh snow widespread as “considerable”, which means level three on the five-part scale. Spontaneous loose avalanches and slab avalanches are possible, especially on steep slopes; In the Rätikon and the Silvretta, the danger situation above 2,000 meters was even rated as “high” (level 4), here even individual winter sports enthusiasts can trigger an avalanche.

In Tyrol, due to heavy snowfall on Thursday, there was still a high risk of avalanches, in other words level “4”. This mainly affected areas in the southern and western parts of the country above the tree line. However, there was no special snow-related workload on Thursday night or in the morning, as the Tyrolean control center told the APA. Relevant traffic problems because of “Frau Holle” were also not reported.

According to the avalanche warning service, the situation was particularly tricky away from the secured slopes. Drift snow and weak old snow are the main danger. Slabs of snow could be triggered in many places in the particularly affected areas by individual winter sports enthusiasts. The experts warned that spontaneous avalanches, especially those of medium size, are possible on snowdrift slopes in areas with a lot of wind. On Friday, the avalanche danger in Tyrol tends to decrease.

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