Heavy snow shuts down Eiffel Tower weeks after abnormal rainfall soaked Paris
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images(PARIS) — After drying out from near-record rainfall that swamped Paris last month, the French capital awoke Wednesday morning to a white blanket of snowfall thick enough to shut down the famed Eiffel Tower.
Around 5 inches of snow has fallen there in the past 24 hours, according to French official weather service Méteo France.
The Eiffel tower closed Tuesday because of “weather conditions” and is expected to remain closed on Wednesday, according to its official Twitter account.
The Eiffel Tower closes from time to time because of strong wind gusts, for instance, but remained open during last month’s flooding.
Bus services in the French capital were suspended Tuesday night and remained halted Wednesday morning, according to Paris police. Transport authorities hoped to get the buses back up and running throughout the day. The Paris metro and tramway systems, however, are functioning normally, police said.
Traffic at the two Paris international airports of Charles de Gaulle and Orly was not significantly affected by the snowfall, with only a few delays, according to a spokesman. But road access to the airports was disrupted.
Authorities are asking travelers to come to Paris airports as early as possible.
The greater Paris region of Ile-de-France was especially affected by the heavy snowfall Tuesday night. Traffic jams forced hundreds of people to abandon their cars and sleep in emergency shelters overnight, according to authorities, who urged people to leave their cars at home in order to avoid traffic jams.
Rail traffic is severely disrupted Wednesday morning in the Paris suburbs, with less than half of train services operating, according to transport authorities. Moreover, school buses were not running in several areas near Paris.
Snowfall is not expected in Paris over the next 48 hours, but cold temperatures are likely to freeze the existing layer in place, leading to even more dangerous conditions, according to Méteo France.
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