Greece struggled with heavy snowfall and strong winds on Monday, as roads were temporarily shut down and sailing banned from the main ports in Attica.
Heavy snow during Sunday night left many areas without power, while problems were also reported in the mountain roads of the Peloponnese and Attica.
According to the National Observatory of Athens weather service meteo, the cold front ‘Zenobia’ will continue to affect Greece until Tuesday, at which time it will mainly be confined to Crete and the Dodecanese islands. The weather in other parts of Greece is seen improving temporarily.
Athens-Lamia national highway restored to traffic
The Athens-to-Lamia national highway, sections of which had been closed off earlier due to heavy snowfall, is fully open again in both directions, police said on Monday evening.
According to the Nea Odos consortium managing the Athens-Lamia national highway, there are 80 snow removal machines in the area of Afidnes, where traffic had become stuck. Infrastructure & Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis is visiting the area with the ministry’s secretary general to offer state help.
Buses and trucks weighing over 3.5 tons are as of Monday evening allowed on the Athens-Lamia national highway, Infrastructure Secretary General Giorgos Karagiannis said on Monday night to ANA-MPA.
Karagiannis said that by 9:30 p.m. the same night, cars will again travel freely on the highway, especially the section near Malakassa where heavy snowfall resulted in a backup 3.5 kilometers long.
The traffic jam occurred after police was trying to clear the way for snow machines by constantly diverting traffic. Shortly before 5:00 p.m., the backup forced the temporary shutdown of the road by Nea Odos managers at the Afidnes tolls in the direction to Lamia and the Thebes tolls in the direction to Athens. The problem worsened by trucks that had pulled off the road onto the emergency lane, as they had been banned from travelling on the roads since morning.
Elsewhere, the Penteli-Nea Makri regional road north of Athens has been restored to traffic, after the section between the Dionyssos field and Agios Petros was shut down because of dense snowfall.
In Attica, the road leading to Mt. Hymettus, in the Kalopoula region, has been shut down.
Meanwhile heavy snowfall has forced the cancellation of all services of the county’s intercity coach services (KTEL) towards Athens from central and northern Greece.
Strong winds keep ships tied at Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio ports
A sailing ban remains in effect for the ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio on Monday evening due to severe weather, while the Argosaronic island schedules are carrying on only on closed-deck ships.
Some local lines are also banned from sailing, including: Agia Marina-Nea Stira, Glifa-Agiokambos, Volos-Sporades Islands, Kavala-Prinos, and Keramoti-Thassos port.
Travellers are advised to contact local port authorities and travel agencies ahead of time to find out if sailing bans are in effect for their particular itinerary