A quarter of a million people in Spain left with no power after huge snowfall

Posted By: Selma Al-Faqih on March 9, 2010 9:37 pm

The heaviest snowfall since 1962 brought much disruption to 250,000 people who were left without power, 6,000 travelers stuck and blocking up to 40 roads between Spain and France.

Also affected were train and plane schedules.  In Southern France, firefighters brought hot supplies to 1,800 passengers stuck on trains, AFP reported.

Catalonia’s interior minister, Joan Boada, said the power cuts were caused by a fault in a high-tension cable.

The boarder between Spain and France was closed causing 30-mile traffic jam while 170,000 school children gleefully got the day off, according to local papers.

Thousands more were unable to reach home after snow fell at noon. Workers took the opportunit to photograph Barcelona and the beach under the rarely seen sea of snow;

“I’ve never seen anything like this here in all my life,” said Barcelona resident Raquel Lasmarias, 35.

Over 3 feet of snow fell, and the Catalon regional President José Montilla said it will take time to repair the damages, longer than they’d hoped.  “Some things cannot be repaired in hours,” he said.

The Catalan meteorological office reported that unusually cold conditions, including ice and frost, would continue, but that the weather will slowly improve.