News / Europe

Severe Winter Weather Grips Europe

Cars are stuck in drifting snow near the northern German town of Soehlen, 10 Jan 2010
Cars are stuck in drifting snow near the northern German town of Soehlen, 10 Jan 2010

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A wave of cold and snowy weather continues to grip Europe, grounding  airplanes, trains and cars and causing dozens of deaths. 

Britons shivering through one of the coldest winters to hit the United Kingdom in decades got no reprieve from Mother Nature on Sunday. Channel 4 and other British media delivered more bad news - including weather-related deaths. 

A week of snow and ice also temporarily shuttered Dublin airport and led to cancellations of planes, trains and sporting events in London and elsewhere.

Conditions are not much better in France, where weather forecasters are predicting more arctic temperatures on Monday and a wave of snow to hit some parts of the country on Tuesday.

Snow has also grounded flights around the country.  Roughly 1,000 passengers were forced to spend the night at the Lyon airport and nearby hotels in east-central France.

One irate man told French radio he did not understand why Lyon airport authorities did not open at least one runway, closed by a 20-centimeter snowfall.

Meanwhile, the Eurostar rail service linking London, Brussels and Paris is experiencing delays and cancellations through at least Sunday due to severe weather conditions.

In Germany, more than 160 people were trapped overnight in their cars on an icy highway.  They survived by running the heating in their vehicles until police rescued them.  Wintry conditions killed at least nine people in Poland over the last week.

Meanwhile, heavy rain and melting snow have cause flooding in parts of Croatia and Bosnia.

Europeans are taking precautions to survive the cold snap.  The German government has urged residents to stock up on food and medicines.  Britain is cutting down on its industrial gas use to save supplies.

But others are taking advantage of the wintry weather.  In the Netherlands, thousands of people laced up their skates and headed out to skate in frozen lakes.  

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