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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Record Traffic Jams, Snow Snarl Moscow

MTMunicipal workers clearing the sidewalk in front of Miusskoye Cemetery on Sushchyovsky Val on Monday after a record snowfall blanketed the city and caused unusually bad traffic jams. Monday’s snowfall of at least 19 centimeters beat a 100-year-old record of 6 centimeters for Dec. 21.
Moscow set new records in terms of snowfall and traffic jams Monday as municipal workers struggled to unbury the city from a thick white blanket of snow.

Monday’s snowfall of at least 19 centimeters beat a 100-year-old record of 6 centimeters for Dec. 21, Moscow weather bureau chief Alexei Lyakhov told Interfax.

The final figure for the amount of snow that fell on the city was to be counted after 9 p.m. Monday, Lyakhov said.

The total length of traffic jams in Moscow reached 1,700 kilometers during the four hours between 8:10 a.m. and 12:20 p.m., or more than twice the distance between Moscow and St. Petersburg, according to statistics compiled by the Yandex search engine, which provides constant updates on Moscow’s traffic.

“This is an absolute 2009 record for the morning hours,” said Yandex spokesman Ochir Mandzhikov.

The length of traffic jams in Moscow during winter morning hours usually reaches 700 to 800 kilometers, he said.

The snowfall started Sunday.

City Hall officials urged drivers over the radio and television on Sunday and Monday to use public transportation to facilitate the work of snow-removal vehicles, but few complied, said Marina Orlova, spokeswoman for City Hall’s housing and communal services department.

Some 15,000 vehicles were deployed Sunday night to move snow and spray snow-melting chemicals on roads around the city, Orlova said. The vehicles collected 120,000 cubic meters of snow overnight, and many continued working nonstop throughout the day Monday, she said.

About 1 million cars registered in regions other than Moscow entered the city ahead of the New Year’s holiday Monday, aggravating traffic jams, Orlova said. About 3.5 million cars are registered in Moscow, and another half a million usually enter the city daily, she said.

Street cleaners are working to remove snow from the city’s 88 million square meters of asphalt areas, including streets and sidewalks, Orlova said. Manual labor and chemicals, instead of vehicles, were being used to clear snow from sidewalks, she said.

Meteorologists forecast a daytime temperature of minus 13 degrees Celsius and no snow for Tuesday and about 0 C and little snow from Wednesday to Saturday.

Next week, temperatures will fluctuate between minus 13 C on Monday and minus 7 C on New Year’s Eve. Jan. 1 will see a temperature of minus 3 C.