Snow news in brief, 4 March 2005

4th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

Europe hit by severe wintry weather

Europe hit by severe wintry weather

Wintry weather caused problems right across Europe this week. Chaos was reported on roads from Italy to Britain and several airports were shut down. Rail services also encountered problems with track change mechanisms and five people were killed when a plane crashed during heavy snowfalls in Bologna.

Ice skate marathons get go ahead

After temperatures plummeted in the Netherlands on Thursday night, the first marathons to be held on natural ice this winter will be staged in Noordlaren in Groningen and Veenoord/Nieuw-Amsterdam in Drenthe. The Dutch skating association KNSB said the marathons for men will be start at 5pm and a women's marathon will be begin in Noordlaren at 6.30pm. The KNSB inspected both circuits on Friday morning and said they were of equal quality. To prevent competition between the two clubs, the male marathons will be held at the same time. It is an annual battle between the two clubs for the honour of staging the winter's first race on natural ice.

Homecare via tractor

A nurse with the homecare organisation Friese Land needed a tractor to get through the snow and visit an elderly patient in the Friesland town of Akkum this week. Mrs Bottema was celebrating her 64th birthday and was very pleased with the visit. Friese Land deployed 2,000 of its staff this week — even those who were on leave — to ensure healthcare continued unabated. With the help from family and neighbours, undue problems were averted.

DJ fined for traffic jam radio show

Veronica DJ Jeroen van Inkel was fined this week for not using a hands-free device with his mobile while presenting his morning radio programme from his car. Van Inkel was stuck in a traffic jam due to the heavy snowfalls and started presenting the first hour of his programme on Wednesday via mobile phone in his car. He was fined EUR 140 for not using a hands-free device. Van Inkel claims he usually uses hands-free, but decided against it when presenting his programme to avoid undue noise on the radio.

Snowball fights keep police busy

Police have been kept extra busy with snowball fights leading to friction this week. Officers have been frequently intervening to prevent problems. But in one incident, a 64-year-old man, of Bodegaven, was arrested after allegedly trying to stab a 17-year-old snowball thrower. The man was annoyed by the boy constantly throwing snowballs against his window. The boy was unharmed in the attack because his clothing was too thick for the knife to penetrate. The man was charged with an attempted assault and vandalism, while the boy and five friends have been charged with public order offences.

Driving licence tests postponed

The Dutch driving licence authority CBR cancelled driving tests on Wednesday and Thursday this week due to the heavy snowfalls. There were 2,200 car, motorbike and trailer exams planned for Thursday and 1,200 planned for Wednesday. Those who missed their exams will be recalled in about two weeks time.

Plants, crops protected by snow

Plants and grains will not be damaged by this week's exceptional wintry weather, researchers with the Wageningen University claim. The researchers said the thick snow layer would form an insulating layer against the freezing temperatures. They said frost without snow cover is much more dangerous than freezing temperatures with snow.

Circus wagons snowed in

The Moskou-Holiday circus cancelled all performances in Meppel on Friday after circus wagons became stuck in snow at the Gelderse Wapenveld terrain and could not be transported to the city of Meppel in time. The performances in Meppel on Saturday and Sunday will go ahead as planned.

Snow plays havoc with post

Post could not be delivered in large sections of the north of the country on Wednesday. Friesland totally abandoned postal deliveries, while post was only delivered in densely populated areas in Groningen and Drenthe. Postal services were also hindered in and around Alkmaar.

Snowman damages train

A train was damaged this week by a snowman that was made on the tracks between Haarlem and Leiden. The train collided with the snowman at about 11.15pm on Wednesday night and could not proceed any further due to the damage it sustained.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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