Two consecutive snow storms and almost the entire country is paralyzed. The first snow storm took place on December 1 (Wednesday). Some parts of the Czech Republic got 8 inches of snow, but other regions had only as little as 5 inches, which was enough to stop cars, buses, streetcars and trains. And when vehicles don’t move, people don’t move. Some inbound freeways in Prague became huge sidewalks on Wednesday when people gave up waiting for, or sitting on, buses.
The main Czech freeway (D1) gets blocked regularly, mostly by ill-fated trucks. Jack-knifed is the better scenario. However, the heave snow combined with high winds rendered railway switches inoperable and sometimes the layer of snow was so high that trains could not even pass through it. In downtown Brno, for example, snow got packed into streetcar switches, causing delays as drivers had to leave their cabs and un-jam the switch…
Most dailies were not available in Brno on Thursday.
Some villages that are connected to the outside world via Class III roads became isolated altogether. More snowing is expected on Friday night (tonight). Most Czechs tend to blame the road maintenance authorities and their plow drivers. They often fail to realize that high winds often blow snow back in a few minutes, or that the salt that is used on roads becomes ineffective at certain temperatures. Plus, many trucks (!) still have their summer tires.