Published: Sun, February 11, 2018

Snow forces Eiffel Tower closure, traffic disruptions as bad weather hits France

Snow forces Eiffel Tower closure, traffic disruptions as bad weather hits France

Since Tuesday night (February 6), at least 12cm of snow has fallen on Paris, and in some areas around Ile-de-France, over 20cm has been recorded; reportedly this is the most snow to have fallen in one night since the winter of 1987.

Heavy snow is very unusual in Paris, when there is snow, it is usually a dusting.

Rail operator SNCF had to slow down trains on several of its high-speed TGV lines.

Police on Twitter urged motorists to leave their cars at home again on Thursday (Feb 8).

It forecasted to report snowfall up to 5 cm in Paris where the iconic Eiffel tower closed its doors to visitors on Tuesday because of bad weather. This kind of thing is unimaginable there.

Transport companies have put in place their "snow plans", but some are unable to run their services due to mechanical problems in low temperatures and the lack of personnel, with many workers themselves not been able to get to work in the first place.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo admitted the capital had a "problem" with "the great vulnerability of transport networks".

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux promised "lessons would be learned" but defended officials' response, saying: "It's hard to know at 8:00 in the morning that roads will be blocked at 2:00 pm".

The cold snap caught French authorities off guard, according to The AP, and hundreds of people were forced to spend the night trapped in their vehicles because the roads were not cleared.

Twenty-eight French departments, including eight in the Paris region, were placed on orange alert over the risky weather conditions and ice on the roads.

Flights were disrupted at Orly and Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport Wednesday morning, the result of de-icing operations but also because many staff were unable to make it to work.

"I love Paris. I would just love to get there and see it", said Paul Farberman, a 66-year-old music industry executive who had just flown in from Los Angeles.

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