Klagenfurt – The heavy snowfalls that had been announced for days hit Carinthia and parts of Styria in particular on Monday. In Carinthia, thousands of households were temporarily without electricity, train connections were cancelled and there were many traffic problems.
Two-thirds of the operations involved blocked roads due to fallen trees. Upper and Central Carinthia were particularly affected, especially the districts of Villach- and Klagenfurt-Land. Around 13,000 households in towns from the Gegendtal to Völkermarkt, in Radenthein, in the Ossiacher Tauern, in the Görtschitztal and in the Rosen- and Jauntal were temporarily without power. 100 fitters were deployed, but often had problems getting to the damaged areas because of the difficult road conditions.
Especially in Carinthia, a lot of snow fell in the night to Monday.
© IMAGO/Bernd March
In the city area of Klagenfurt, municipal buses repeatedly got stuck on the slippery road surface, e.g. on Ebentaler Straße. There were delays in bus traffic.
Snow chains were compulsory in many places, especially for roads at higher elevations, such as the Turrach (B95), Hochrindl Straße (L65) and Katschberg Straße (B99). The Wurzenpass (B109) was closed due to avalanche danger. Geosphere Austria reported in a release that the focus of the snowfall was mainly East Tyrol and Upper Carinthia. In Upper Carinthia, there were five to 15 centimeters of fresh snow even in low lying areas. At Klagenfurt Airport, there were 16 centimeters. In Bad Eisenkappel it had snowed 30 centimeters, in Bad Bleiberg 40 centimeters and at the Loiblpass 50 centimeters.
At around 1:30 a.m., a 60-year-old Carinthian man lost control of his car on the snow-covered Südautobahn (A2) highway near Velden (Villach-Land district). According to police, the car skidded and crashed into an impact absorber. The driver and three other people in the vehicle, including a three-year-old, were slightly injured.
In the early hours of the morning, an accident between a truck and two passenger cars caused long traffic jams on the Tauern Motorway (A10). A waste disposal truck went off a snow-covered road in Spittal an der Drau, slid across a sloping meadow and over the roof of a garage before getting stuck on the side of the fence of the steep property. Firefighters temporarily secured the truck with ropes, and it will be recovered with specialized equipment by noon. The 51-year-old driver had to be taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The direction of Salzburg was closed between Villach-West and Feistritz. When attempting to tow away the truck involved, the tow bar of the tow truck broke, so a crane had to be called in. Traffic was diverted.
Due to the heavy snowfall, the opposite direction then had to be closed as well. There were also accidents or blockages on other Carinthian roads due to fallen trees.
In Styria, the Pyhrnautobahn (A9) between the Graz-West junction and the Spielfeld state border was particularly affected by the wintry conditions. Here, delays occurred time and again.
According to the weather forecast, it will snow most in the Karawanken on Monday, namely around 40 centimeters. By mid-morning, however, the weather situation should calm down again. In the night to Tuesday, the next snow showers are already expected in the Carinthia area.