A WINDSTORM in the High Tatras mountains downed trees, ripped off roofs and damaged billboards on May 15, with firefighters recommending drivers in the mountain area to leave their cars at home.

Several roads in the High Tatras were closed due to fallen trees. All firefighters and their equipment in the area were deployed to tackle the effects of the gale, head of firefighters in the Poprad district, Ondrej Šproch, told the TASR newswire.

The firefighters even had to withdraw from the area of the mountain settlement of Vyšné Hágy due to the strong winds.

“Nobody has been left stuck up there ... so we have stopped our work in the area in order to prevent injuries and damage on our equipment from taking place,” Šproch said, as quoted by TASR.

He also called on the public to be patient.

“The people who are calling us about their roofs having been ripped off, must be patient, because we can neither slide out stepladders nor erect platforms at the moment,” Šproch explained. “We will help everyone after the situation calms down.”

The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) declared the highest, third-level warning against heavy rain for northern parts of Žilina and Prešov Regions for May 16. The Mountain Rescue Service also does not recommend tourists to go hiking until the situation improves, the TASR newswire wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.