Storm ‘Filomena’ blankets Spain with snow, disrupts traffic

MADRID (AP) – Spain was on high alert on Friday as a cold snap covered much of the country with record levels of snow that is disrupting road, rail, sea and air traffic, while authorities warned that worse might be in store over the weekend.

The national AEMET weather agency had forecasted that the Spanish capital and other parts of the country’s central regions would receive more than 24 hours of continuous snowfall as Storm Filomena moved north from the Straits of Gibraltar.

The light snow that began falling Thursday in some areas led by the end of Friday to serious disruptions on nearly 400 roads according to Spain’s transit authorities, which urged people to stay indoors and avoid all non-essential travel.

The capital, Madrid, was enduring what the city’s mayor described as “the worst storm in 80 years”, prompting the closure of the city’s main park and restrictions on the suburban belts of highways.

A snowplow removes snow as vehicles remain stuck in the M30 ringroad in Madrid. PHOTO: AFP