Police urge motorists to avoid narrow streets with accumulated snow in Helsinki
Since high piles of snow have accumulated in various districts of Helsinki, the police on Monday urged motorists to avoid the narrowest streets with highest drifts.
Moreover, the Rescue Department is extremely worried about the situation, as the piles of snow may block pavements and so prevent large rescue units from reaching the sites of accidents or fires.
The problem is especially acute in streets where a large number of cars have been parked along both sides of the street.
On Sunday the Helsinki Rescue Department issued a communique, saying that all citizens, janitors, and real estate managers should see to it that snow is cleared from pavements, in order that rescue vehicles have free acces to patients and sites of accidents.
The capital’s entire fleet of snow ploughs is currently in operation, and the roads and streets are being cleared in order of importance.
At the same time, the rescue workers are concerned over yards and rescue routes in particular.
”The rescue routes must be kept open for emergency services”, says fire chief Taisto Hakala.
”Because of large snow drifts, rescue operations may be slower than normal, while snow and frost themselves are bound to increase the risk of accidents”, Hakala adds.
Hakala notes further that if more snow starts to fall on Monday evening as predicted, the conditions in the capital could get extremely hazardous.
Helsinki is already struggling with snow at record levels, and in a topsy-turvy situation, the capital is currently blessed with as much of the white powder as some parts of Lapland, and considerably more than large areas of Central and Northern Finland.
It is estimated that snow to a depth of around 60cm is lying in Helsinki and environs, and the weekend brought even more.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Cold winter brings early opening of ice roads (25.1.2010)
Frost may lead to further water pipe ruptures (13.1.2010)
Cold weather sends electricity consumption soaring (11.1.2010)
Finnish Meteorological Institute - Snow Depth