|Lingering traffic jams in Russia’s Rostov region cover tens of kilometers|
December 29, 2014 - RUSSIA - Russia has seen many harsh winters – but even here, drivers don't welcome wintry roads. Heavy snow and hail turned part of a highway running from Moscow to Rostov into a parking lot. Cars were reportedly buried under snow upon stopping for just a minute.
Though the Rostov Region Traffic Authority told local media that the problem area covers only a two to three kilometer stretch of the M4 – Russia’s only nationwide expressway – witnesses say the devastating traffic jam covers tens of kilometers and has lasted for several days.
Eyewitness Konstantin Ozerov told RT in a phone interview that although he saw emergency service cars, he couldn’t ascertain exactly what they were doing. He also underscored the severity of the jam, calling it a “winter hell.”
“You can’t call this traffic. It’s a collapse,” he said. “Driving was completely impossible. As soon as cars stopped they were immediately covered in snow.”
Ozerov said he personally saw around 30 accidents.
Dmitry, another witness, told RT that some cars were at a dead stop for hours.
Many trucks that had been parked overnight were unable to pull out of the snowdrift. When they finally managed, the trucks ended up blocking the road, bringing all traffic to a halt, Ozerov said. The trucks also had trouble scaling the steep icy hills.
Ozerov praised the conduct of drivers and passengers in the grim circumstances, noting that everyone did what they could to help each other – including pushing stalled cars.