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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Heavy Snows Cause Traffic, Airport Chaos

MTWorkmen clearing snow on Leningradsky Prospekt near the Dynamo metro station Tuesday, when 13 centimeters of snow fell.
One-third of the average snowfall for February hit Moscow on Tuesday, combining with strong winds to bring more than the usual chaos to the city's streets and airports.

As much as 13 centimeters of snow fell in various parts of Moscow on Monday night and Tuesday, said Federal Weather Service spokeswoman Natasha Yershova -- more than one-third the monthly average for February of 36 centimeters. Moscow will have had its monthly average snowfall in the first three days of this week, she said.

Delays hit all forms of transportation.

Snowfalls and strong winds caused delays for dozens of planes overnight at Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports, although all scheduled flights eventually took off, Russian media cited airport officials as saying.

Delays were experienced on the Moscow-Yaroslavl rail link, as well as on local commuter trains. Trams were blocked by snowfall in southern Moscow, and a truck stuck on tramlines brought trams to a halt in the Sokolniki area, RIA-Novosti reported.

Road traffic was restricted to less than 40 kilometers per hour due to the difficult conditions. There were so many snowdrifts that one Moscow city official, First Deputy Mayor Pyotr Aksyonov, suggested calling out students and soldiers to help clear the snow from the streets, Interfax reported.

Municipal workers removed more than 400,000 cubic meters of snow during the night, Interfax reported. But one traffic police official complained at a City Hall meeting on communal services that the snow on some streets had simply been dumped on the roadside, narrowing them to traffic.

One woman was injured when a canopy roof collapsed at Cherkizovo outdoor market. It was caused by strong winds or snow on the roof, police said.

The sudden flurry was the result of a warm front sweeping in from the Balkan and Mediterranean regions, which also brought slightly less frigid weather.

More wet snow showers are expected for the rest of the week, with temperatures hovering around zero degrees Celsius or just below, Yershova said.