Devastating Weather Conditions in the South and West of Austria

Mudslides, snowstorms and floods cause sleepless nights for the residents of the affected areas.

People in Tyrol, Salzburg, Carinthia and Styria are struggling with terrible weather conditions. Heavy rain and severe storms are currently causing numerous rescue operations, roadblocks and civil defence alerts. Some of the people in the affected areas could not get to work and had to face power cuts again and again. A short summary:

Weather Conditions in Tyrol

The current snowfalls make this year the snowiest in a long time, said meteorologist Simon Hölzl to the ORF: “It is amazing that these weather conditions remain for such a long time and that such large amounts of precipitation occur. It’s not even have -November and precipitation levels in the South are three times higher than the long-term average.”

The storms in Tyrol over the past few days have caused approximately €10 million in damages, according to preliminary estimates by the state of Tyrol, which is providing victims with money from their disaster fund.

Since the end of last week, local fire brigades have carried out over 320 missions in East Tyrol, according to Provincial Councilor Josef Geisler (ÖVP). The helpers removed collapsed trees, pumped away floodwaters and closed off roads after mudslides and avalanches.

Weather Conditions in Salzburg

In the federal state of Salzburg, the damages of the past few days are estimated at around €6 million.

Blocked roads kept many teachers and pupils in the Pongau and Pinzgau from their schools, the Salzburger Nachrichten reported. 13 schools remained closed.

The danger of mudslides in southern Salzburg is largely under control. State geologist Gerald Valentin, however, looks to the future with concern. In spring, when the snow melts, many mountain slopes could slide again, the ORF Salzburg reported.

Weather Conditions in Carinthia

So far, there has been one death and two injuries in Carinthia: In Bad Kleinkirchheim, an 80-year-old man was buried and killed by a mudslide. Another mudslide in Zwengberg destroyed a farm and injured one person. A member of the volunteer fire brigade in Patergassen was also injured during a mission.

12 residents of 3 farmsteads in the municipality of Flattach were evacuated by helicopter, as mudslides were imminent.

All schools in the Spittal district, the educational center St. Lorenzen in the Lesach valley and the schools in the municipality of Lavamünd remained closed at the beginning of the week. There were also no classes in Feld am See.

Weather Conditions in Styria

In Styria, Stadl-Predlitz (Murau district) was particularly affected. At the beginning of the week, 50 people had to leave their homes at night due to the threat of landslides. An zone affecting about 1,000 residents in the upper Murtal was declared a “disaster area.”

“In several areas of the district of Murau, mudflows have emerged. Therefore there will be a new meeting with all emergency forces to assess the findings of the night. Avoid areas that are unstable due to mudflows and mudslides. The water levels of the streams are sometimes very high and this could lead to hazards,” Fritz Sperl of the district authority Murau told ORF Steiermark.

The ORF also reports that several streams burst their banks in Stadl due to heavy rainfall. Hillsides slipped down in Predlitz and the evacuation of 15 houses was ordered. The approximately 30 people affected were accommodated by acquaintances and relatives.

Julia Seidl
Julia started out at "Die Presse." She went on to study "Journalism & Media Management" in Vienna and worked for several local news outlets such as ORF, Kurier and Falter before joining Metropole as online content and social media manager.

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