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Blizzard caused third-degree alert in east; 7,000 trees fell in Tatras (video included)

A central emergency staff of the Transport, Construction and Regional Development Ministry on Friday, March 15, cancelled the highest, third-degree alert on the main road between Brezno and Telgárt, and alerts were no longer in place for all roads in Prešov and Košice regions, and near Komárno due to blizzards. The D1 motorway near Poprad under the High Tatras mountains was impassable late in the afternoon, but by evening, emergency teams removed lorries that had been involved in accidents along the road, the TASR newswire wrote. The stretch remained closed by the police, as the visibility in the area was scarcely one metre. A third-degree alert means that roads are impassable, and that conditions are too severe for road administrators to be able to do anything about it with their own or contracted capacities.

A central emergency staff of the Transport, Construction and Regional Development Ministry on Friday, March 15, cancelled the highest, third-degree alert on the main road between Brezno and Telgárt, and alerts were no longer in place for all roads in Prešov and Košice regions, and near Komárno due to blizzards. The D1 motorway near Poprad under the High Tatras mountains was impassable late in the afternoon, but by evening, emergency teams removed lorries that had been involved in accidents along the road, the TASR newswire wrote. The stretch remained closed by the police, as the visibility in the area was scarcely one metre. A third-degree alert means that roads are impassable, and that conditions are too severe for road administrators to be able to do anything about it with their own or contracted capacities.

Approximately 7,000 trees, which equates to 5,500 cubic metres of wood, fell in the Tatra Mountains National Park (TANAP) due to strong winds that hit the area on Friday, TANAP State Forests deputy director Pavol Fabian told TASR on Monday. “Most of the fallen trees were withered and previously damaged by bark-beetles. The greatest damage to the forests was caused by wind in the protected areas of Tatranské Matliare, Štrbské Pleso and Vyšné Hágy," added Fabian.

Meanwhile, TANAP State Forests sent out workers to clear the main tourist paths on Saturday, a number of which are still blocked by fallen trees. A video from www.tv.sme.sk shows the damage:

Almost 450 trees in the so-called English Park adjacent to Betliar manor house near Rožňava in south eastern Slovakia fell as a result of the strong winds combined with heavy snow that swept through the area last week, TASR was told by Artur Šturmankin from the Slovak National Museum (SNM) on Monday. The SNM, which is responsible for running the site, has not calculated the damage as of yet. However, no other damage to the manor house was reported, making it possible to re-open the estate to the public for tours on Sunday, March 24.

(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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