Heavy snowfall resulting from storm Filomena left thousands of Spanish drivers trapped in their cars. The tropical storm, which hit the coastal nation on January 8, closed down to Madrid airport, blocking major roads. M-30 and M-40 motorways were amongst 400 roads blocked due to the robust storm.
Winter storm #Filomena is expected to hit Spain over the next 3 days, likely with more than 50 cm of fresh snow in many areas. Storms, including severe, with heavy rain and flooding, will hit Gibraltar and Andalusia, southern Spain.https://t.co/vL3iZz2l7u— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) January 7, 2021
Extrem snow in Estacas de Trueba. Burgos. North of Spain, Jan 6th. Thanks to Sergio del Río for the report - posted with permission. pic.twitter.com/CbxBltyOxn— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) January 8, 2021
Speaking to Spanish television RNE from inside her car, a woman said that she drove to the hospital to see her husband when the storm hit. She then said that she had been stuck for hours on a journey that would have taken just 15 minutes. In the aftermath, authorities have put Madrid and eight provinces under the most severe weather advisory since 2007.
"A huge amount of snow is expected across the eastern half of the country, likely with more than 50 cm of fresh snow in many areas over the next 3 days. Storms, including severe, with heavy rain and flooding, will hit Gibraltar and Andalusia, southern Spain," a statement on Severe Weather Europe read.
According to the Associated Press, in the southern Canarias archipelago, where rainfall and strong winds have paired with unusually rough seas with giant waves, emergency services rescued 65 people Friday from a ferry that ran aground the night before while trying to approach a dock in the Gran Canaria island. Meanwhile, in Toledo, capital of the central Castilla La Mancha region, authorities have called for help from the armed forces to clear roads, and prohibited all circulation of vehicles without winter tires or chains.