LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — A snow storm packing strong winds has wreaked traffic chaos on a key highway and other roads in Slovenia Monday, while leaving parts of the country temporarily without electricity.
Officials said the late Sunday snowfall caused over a dozen traffic accidents overnight with fallen trees blocking local roads and downing power lines, including in the capital Ljubljana.
Authorities urged Slovenians not to travel unless absolutely necessary. Huge lines of cars continued to crawl at a snail’s pace along many roads throughout the country Monday morning because of the bad weather conditions.
The highway connecting the Adriatic coastline with Ljubljana was blocked in some areas because of high winds. Heavy vehicles have been banned on the affected roads in the Alpine nation.
Meteorologists said the snow is expected to ease by Tuesday.
Strong winds last weekend prompted firefighters to respond to some 200 calls for help in neighboring Croatia.
Snow also disrupted traffic in Croatia on Monday after blanketing parts of the Adriatic coast and some of Croatia’s islands.
Most ferry lines were halted on Monday due to strong winds, leaving the majority of Croatian islands cut off, state HRT television reported.
In the capital Zagreb, strong winds resulted in the collapse of scaffolding around a building under renovation in a central square, causing no injuries. Heavy snow and wind in the north brought traffic in the mountainous Gorski Kotar region to a virtual standstill, HRT said.
Problems with electricity supply in remote villages were reported further south in neighboring Montenegro, following a heavy weekend snowfall.
Balkan countries last week battled with floods caused by torrential rains. Many rivers and streams throughout the region overflowed, flooding homes and farmland and causing landslides.
Authorities in Serbia said Monday they recovered the body of the second victim of last week’s flooding in the southwest of the country. The two men drowned after they were swept away by a raging river in the town of Novi Pazar.