Cold and snow will disrupt travel
By Sopo Datishvili
Friday, January 9According to the short range forecast of the Meteorological Centre, January 9 will see an invasion of cold weather from the North of the Caucasus. The temperature will fall and there will be heavy snow in the western and eastern parts of Georgia.
As the head of the short range forecast agency, Dodo Gvazava, told The Messenger, frost will strengthen in the West with rain in the lowlands and snow in the mountains. Wind is also expected and meteorologists claim that in some places the temperature will fall to 15 Degrees Celsius below zero. Heavy snow and strong winds will also strike Eastern Georgia, where the temperature will be 10 – 11 Degrees Celsius below zero at night. The Gudauri–Kobi section of the main highway will be a danger zone for avalanches.
“The low temperature will be most strongly felt in the Western parts of the country. But the heavy snow won’t last long. On the night of January 10 it will stop snowing but the frost will remain for several days,” said Dodo Gvazava.
On January 8 heavy snow isolated the Mestia region, where using the roads was forbidden due to the threat of avalanches. People were left without electricity as the snow damaged electricity wires there. The Jvari–Khaishi–Chuberi section of road in the West as well as Gudauri–Kobi have been danger spots for several days. On January 7, transport movement to Gudauri was partially restored, but the danger on the Gudauri–Kobi highway was still big. On the Gudauri–Jinvali section only cars with special anti-slipping chains were allowed to move. The Hydro Meteorological Centre has advised people not to go in that direction for few days, as the risk of avalanche is still high.
The Department of Roads is taking special measures to address the oncoming bad weather. According to its Press Centre the Jinvali-Barisakh-Shatili highway is also a danger zone and movement on it by all kinds of vehicles is forbidden. Only along the first portion is it clear for transport. Part of the Lentekhi-Mele highway is also under threat of avalanche. In Eastern Georgia, the situation is less serious, but the Vaziani–Gombori–Telavi highway is only accessible by vehicles with anti-slipping chains.
The Department of Roads is mobilized for the oncoming heavy snow and frost. Special road preparations are being made ready. The highways are perpetually being cleared.