ATHENS — Army and municipal crews removed hundreds of vehicles Wednesday that had been stranded in snow for three days along a tollway linking Athens to the capital’s international airport, as authorities struggled to clear blocked roads and restore power to blacked out parts of the city.
Heavy snowfall has caused major disruptions in Greece and neighboring Turkey, halting flights, blocking highways, and causing power outages.
Snow blanketed Athens and much of the country on Monday, leaving thousands of drivers trapped on major roads in the Greek capital for hours, with many forced to spend the night in their cars in freezing temperatures.
Many city streets were still impassable on Wednesday, while the snowstorm also knocked out power to several Athens neighborhoods.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis offered a “personal and sincere apology” to the stranded drivers in remarks made during a cabinet meeting, but he blamed the tollway’s private operators for mishandling the reaction to the storm.
Public transport services partially restored on Wednesday
Line 3 metro trains were reaching as far as the Athens airport on Wednesday with stops at Koropi and Kantza stations, but without stopping at Pallini, the Athens fixed-rail transport organisation STASY announced.
Meanwhile, bus and trolley services were gradually being restored in the capital after an early-morning safety inspection, with 155 bus lines in operation at around noon on Wednesday. Problems caused by icy conditions persisted in areas of eastern Attica, Kifissia, Penteli, Acharnes, Fyli and Thrakomakedones.
The underground sections of metro line 2 and 3 were running normally, while metro line 1, the former ISAP electric railway, was running between Piraeus and Irene stations. Until the snow on the line is removed, the temporary bus line X7 will run between Irene station and Kifissia station.
Tram line 7 services have been totally restored all along the length of the line, while tram line 6 is terminating at Leoforos Vouliagmenis station, the Athens fixed-rail transport organisation STASY announced on Wednesday.
Regarding the train routes IC 52 Athens-Thessaloniki and IC 53 Thessaloniki-Athens of TRAINOSE, which were immobilised while en route due to a severed power cable near Tithorea, buses will be used to transfer the passengers from Inoi to Lianokladi and vice versa.
For further information, passengers can call the OASA phone line 11185.