Heavy Snow Paralyzes France, Spain
Jan. 11, 1999
PARIS (AP) _ Heavy snow blanketed central France today, causing serious traffic jams, delaying trains and knocking out electricity to 25,000 homes.
In Spain, unexpectedly heavy snows blocked mountain roads and isolated 100 villages.
Ten inches of new snow fell in France's Rhone Valley, the southern Alps and the Massif Central mountains. It disrupted traffic south of Lyon on the A7 highway, a major north-south axis linking the Mediterranean region to central and northern France.
Train passengers also experienced delays as some rail lines were blocked by the snow.
Falling trees knocked over power lines, causing blackouts for 25,000 homes in the Drome and Ardeche regions. Schools were canceled in those areas.
The worst-hit part of Spain was the north-central region of Castilla and Leon, where police reported snow blocked roads to scores of villages.
Over the weekend, snow cut off dozens of mountain passes, 17 alone in the northern Basque region. Police said only traffic on secondary roads had been affected.