Tallinn city government issues freezing rain hazard warning for Friday

Man clearing snow in Tallinn.
Man clearing snow in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Tallinn city government has issued a freezing rain warning for Friday, which could potentially make streets practically impassable. From Friday onwards, a thaw will begin, following substantial snowfall and low temperatures from late last week.

Deputy mayor Vladimir Svet (Center) said that: "The next challenge will be the freezing rain forecasted for Friday and the weekend, which are likely to make city streets very slippery," after noting that the capital had received the same amount of snow around the weekend as it had last December and January combined.

Svet said: "This made the situation very serious in terms of snow clearance and put all the city's contractors to work, with their entire fleet of machinery, to clean up Tallinn's streets."

This means property owners need to be conscientious about the need to clear sidewalks, as well as any icicles which may have formed on their buildings, or snow that may have accumulated on sloping roofs and could present a serious hazard to passers-by once the weekend thaw sets in.

All road users need to be mindful and take the weather into consideration in choosing the right speeds, distances and tires, if on two or four wheels, or the best footwear and apparel if walking.

"Temperatures will start to rise over the next couple of days and stabilise at around zero degrees, staying slightly above zero during the day and slightly below zero at night," Svet went on, according to a city government press release.

"I'm urging all property owners to prepare for slippery conditions: as temperatures begin to rise, maintenance contractors and estate managers should be ready to sprinkle granite gravel on sidewalks," he added.

Particularly vicious or hard-to-remove icicles should be reported to the municipal police (Mupo) on 14410. Their operatives will be able to contact property owners and set up warnings near the hazard, including a cordon if needed.

Temporary road signs are also to be set up as the snow clearance work continues, Svet said, ahead of Friday's forecast freezing rain and the switch from Mupo and other city agencies' snow patrol, to slush patrol.

"To date, 20,000 cubic meters of snow has already been removed from the city, and the figures are growing every day," Svet went on.

Around 150 pieces of machinery and 40 brigades are currently engaged in the process, the city government said.

Similar conditions in the capital late last winter transformed streets and sidewalks into virtual ice rinks, and for several hours rendered smaller thoroughfares in particular virtually impassable even to younger people in standard winter footwear.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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