Thousands stranded on Italian highway amid heavy snow
Sunday, February 3, 2019, 10:50 AM - Heavy snow left thousands of vehicles stranded in a 12 km-long traffic jam on an Italian highway Saturday. Firefighters were called upon to rescue some 200 people who had been trapped in cars and buses for hours amid freezing temperatures.
Autostrada 22 (A22), Italy's main alpine highway into Austria and Germany, ground to a near-halt early Saturday, with traffic moving at "about 1 km per hour" according to an Associated Press reporter who was stuck in the jam. Officials blamed the slow down on trucks and cars that attempted to traverse the stretch without the mandatory tire chains.
A second section of the highway was closed for several hours by an avalanche; fortunately officials reported no cars were present on that section of road at the time of the slide. No injuries were reported associated with either closure.
While traffic began to move again Saturday night, many trucks were still stuck, blocking one lane of travel for those headed north.
The border region between Italy and Austria has seen heavy snow this winter, with another 2 feet + expected to fall over the weekend.