The heavy rain that incessantly fell over the last 48 hours caused chaos in Bucharest early in the morning. According to officials from the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU), three people were injured, 61 automobiles were damaged and 125 trees were broken by wind gusts, Mediafax reports. ISU Bucharest spokesman Daniel Vasile informed that, between 5.00 AM and 3.00 PM, no less than 155 such incidents were reported. According to the same source, three people were fell victim to tree branches ripped away by wind: one woman was hit while she was walking in the Piata Presei Libere area and a man was hit when he was walking on the Ion Mihalache Boulevard. The third victim was a young man (17). During the 10-hour interval, ISU received reports about 8 advertising billboards and 9 roof elements smashed to the ground by the wind, 7 areas where water accumulated on the pavement and 6 streets covered by water.
Bad weather also took its toll on road traffic, as the wind damaged the power grid and the trees that fell across streets several forced authorities to reroute trolleybuses and trams.
Even the metro was affected, as technical problems possibly caused by water infiltrations blocked its traffic on the second line of the Pipera station. Metros had to use only one track, alternatively, resulting in delays and overcrowded stations along the line.
Train traffic was not spared by the extreme weather, as the strong wind broke trees on the tracks and blocked trains for several hours near the Capital, between Chiajna – Gradinari and Crivina – Peris. Air traffic went on normally on the ‘Henri Coanda’ and ‘Aurel Vlaicu’ airports of Bucharest, with no delays or canceled flights being reported until the closing time of this this newspaper issue.
From Monday at 9.00 PM until Wednesday at 2.00 AM, Bucharest and the counties of Ilfov, Teleorman, Giurgiu, Calarasi, Ialomita, Braila, Tulcea and Constanta are under the incidence of a code orange warning of precipitations, with rain amounts expected to reach 80 litres/m2.
While Bucharest was facing the assault of rain and wind, other regions, mainly from Central Romania, saw winter coming very early this year, to the surprise of both motorists and authorities. The first day of October came with traffic restrictions instated on DN1 for the vehicles that did not have winter tires, which police did not allow to cross a road segment where it was snowing abundantly.
Traffic was difficult also on DN 17, which connects Transylvania and Moldavia, in the Bistrita-Nasaud County, because of sleet, while the high altitude road crossing the Tihuta Pass was already under several centimetres of snow. Vasile Curtean, chief of the Piatra Fantanele District of the Cluj Regional Department of Roads and Bridges, informed that the snow-removal contract will come into effect only on November 1st. Until that moment, the road administration department will use only its own heavy machines for keeping roads open to traffic. Cars also had trouble crossing the Harghita County, where roads were covered by a 5 cm thick layer of snow, while on DN 13 A, which leads to Harghita Bai, several cars got stuck in the snow that accumulated during several hours. The mountain gendarmes of the Harghita Bai squad came to the rescue of the blocked motorists. This is the first snow of this season in Harghita. The lowest temperature registered in the county was -1 degree Celsius, at the Bucin Peak.
The most serious situation was registered in Covasna County, where road traffic was interrupted for almost two hours yesterday morning, on DN 11 and DN2D, because several vehicles were stuck in snow and blocked the road on both lanes. Also yesterday, a school minibus was blocked by snow in Vintileasca, Vrancea County, and local authorities dispatched a heavy vehicle to deal with the situation. “There is blizzard in the area, which makes traffic even more difficult. I went with a bulldozer and freed the minibus, allowing children to reach school safely. The old villagers say they never saw anything like this before. Corn could not be picked, apples are still on branches and winter has come,” said the mayor of Vintileasca, Georgel Spataru.
And more bad news are coming, as weather services issued a code yellow snow warning, in effect until yesterday evening, for the counties of Covasna, Brasov, Harghita, Suceava, Bacau, Vrancea, Neamt, Buzau and Prahova. Last year, on october 1st, temperatures were as high as during summer, with maximum 30 degrees Celsius.
Two road accidents, 16 injured
Bad weather increased the number of road incidents reported these days. Yesterday, six people – including three children – were injured when a crowded minibus was hit by a utility vehicle on DN 702 B, in the Dambovita County. According to the spokesperson of Dambovita Police, the six victims were taken to the Targoviste Emergency Hospital with light head trauma and various other injuries. Another incident, in Covasna County, resulted in 10 injured people, when two automobiles collided and one of them caught fire, with its driver being severely burnt. The crash occurred Monday evening near Cernat and was made public yesterday by ISU and Police.
Constanta ports, closed by strong wind
In Constanta County, all sea and river ports were closed because of the strong wind and a cruise ship with approximately 500 passengers on board was rerouted to the Bulgarian port of Nessebar, to avoid the storm According to naval authorities, all port operations were suspended because of the wind that blows at 60-70 km/h near the shore and even more than 80 km/h in the open sea.