Travel chaos, monument and museum closures continue amid snowy week in Paris
Following the heaviest snowfall since December 2010, another round of snow ended the week in France, bringing more travel problems and closures.
A new wave of snow moved in early on Friday across northern and central France, bringing a fresh blanket of snowfall.
Despite generally light precipitation from Paris to Tours, Nantes and Limoges, there was just enough wintry weather cause tricky travel.
According to RATP, the Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports, several transportation lines were experiencing delays on Friday morning.
Nationale Route N118 was closed, along with several other roadways, around the Paris area due to snow and icy conditions. Those that were not closed reported several traffic accidents.
The snow also caused SNCF to remove several trains between Paris and Normandy, while others were forced to operate at limited speeds, according to the communication department.
Similarly to early in the week, stores and businesses were closed because of the wintry conditions, including Mussée d'Orsay and Mussée de l'Orangerie. The Eiffel Tower announced the monument would be closed on both Friday and Saturday due to the snow.
This closure comes after the Eiffel Tower already being closed earlier this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. During this time, periods of heavier snow moved through northern France, bringing the heaviest snowfall in Paris since December 2010.
From Tuesday into Wednesday, 12-15 cm (5-6 inches) of snow had fallen in Paris and caused significant travel disruptions.
Snowfall of this magnitude occurs in Paris every 10 to 20 years according to Meteo France.
En raison des conséquences des chutes de neige, le musée d'Orsay est partiellement ouvert aujourd'hui, mercredi 7 février.— Musée d'Orsay (@MuseeOrsay) February 7, 2018
Rez-de-chaussée, galerie impressionniste et expo #DegasDanseDessin ouverts.
Niveau médian fermé (Van Gogh et Gauguin...).
Entrée à tarif réduit pic.twitter.com/uxoEE6HFtw
The snowfall forced restrictions on vehicles over 7.5 tonnes and caused travel backups totaling more than 700 km (430 miles) across the city and surrounding areas Tuesday evening, according to France 24.
Many businesses and attractions across Paris were forced to close or shorten hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Eiffel Tower was no exception, closing from Tuesday into Wednesday.
AccuWeather accurately predicted the rare snowfall days in advance. Forecasts and news stories detailed the unusual storm’s expected impacts, such as slippery and snow-covered roads as well as rail and flight delays.
A Paris government spokesman apparently said it’s impossible to predict the weather accurately. We obviously disagree, but we’re more than happy to enjoy the gorgeous photos of empty Paris streets covered in snow. https://t.co/DCkRrj1FpV— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) February 7, 2018
Slightly milder air will finally arrive on Sunday along with the chance for rain. The combination of rainfall and snow melt will bring the risk for some localized flooding. The city of Paris is already weary from flooding issues, following flooding of the Seine River earlier this month.
Falling temperatures on Sunday night will again bring the risk for icy spots to develop on any untreated surfaces.
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