Snowfall, strong wind caused problems in NE Bulgaria in the beginning of the week: district governor24 January 2016 | 10:40 | Radio FOCUS - Shumen
Donka Ivanova, district governor of Shumen District, Northeast Bulgaria, in an interview for Radio FOCUS – Shumen .
FOCUS: The second bout of heavy snow and ice passed. Shumen District was among the regions with the most complicated winter situation since Varbitsa Municipality declared state of emergency in the beginning of the week. Mrs Ivanova, what is the current situation in the region?
Donka Ivanova: Situation in the region is slowly getting back to normal. At the moment there are no problems with power and water supply in the settlements. No stranded people have been reported. Roads have been cleaned from snow and ice and are passable under winter conditions. We are in constant touch with all settlements in the region.
FOCUS: In which regions winter situation was the most critical? What problems and what consequences did you face as result of the severe wind, heavy snowfall and sub-freezing temperatures?
Donka Ivanova: The combination of snow, wind, and sub-freezing temperatures caused number of problems across the region with, of course, different degree of damage in different municipalities.
The first two days of blizzards, Sunday and Monday, created havoc in Shumen district. Snowdrifts and continuous strong wind required closing several major roads in the Northeast Bulgaria. Roads to the towns of Silistra, Razgrad and Ruse were temporarily closed.
Despite severe weather conditions, snow removal companies didn’t close Hemus motorway and Rishki Pass and thus there was permanent transport connection with the rest parts of the country.
Power was cut to some 57 settlements in the region in the first hours after the wintry situation got aggravated, and 23 villages were without water supply. The third class road network was closed for traffic and many municipal roads, too. We encountered serious difficulties to reach to Nikola Kozlevo, Kaspichan and Vrabnitsa municipalities. Drifts of snow reached six metres deep in some places.
FOCUS: How did the municipalities dealt with the situation?
Donka Ivanova: We were following the situation all the time. My team and I were is constant touch with heads of institutions in charge with overcoming the critical situation, as well as with municipal staffs and mayors.
With joint efforts we issued urgent measures – for cleaning major road directions from snow, for transportation of people from Venets, Nikola Kozlevo, Hitrino who need haemodialysis to hospitals, for restoration of power supply, which was actually the biggest problem, because water pumping stations suspended their work due to power cut and many villages remained without water supply.
Doyrantsi - Valnari road section was cleaned from snow with the support of heavy machines of Avtomagistrali - Cherno More AD company, so that to open access of electricity distribution company’s teams to the place where the failure occurred and to restore the power supply for Nikola Kozlevo Municipality.
The teams worked in parallel in Varbitsa Municipality, in the direction Veselinovo and Rish, along the route Ivanski - Radko Dimitrievo - Vehtovo to remove the damage caused in Drentsi and Gabritsa.
We worked synchronised with the other institutions, providing full cooperation to the teams of the electricity company, of the Emergency Medical Aid Centre, of the Regional Directorate Fire Safety and Population Protection, the Regional Road Management etc.
FOCUS: What is the current situation in Vrabnitsa Municipality, which was the most affected municipality in the region?
Donka Ivanova: Yes, indeed, the situation in Vrabnitsa Municipality was the most serious. The severe weather conditions prompted dire warnings and the Mayor of Vrabnitsa Municipality issued a decree №79 decaling a state of emergency on the territory of the Municipality, which entered into force on January 18 and continued over the next 48 hours.
The municipal centre and nearby villages remained without power and water supply as result of high winds there. The electricity company’s teams worked under severe conditions due to for the removal of the damages.
Fallen pine trees on power lines in the area of Veliki Preslav and Ticha Dam Lake created serious problems.
Power supply was gradually restored to the town of Varbitsa and then to the nearby villages. In many places there were problems of some streets and some villages, but on Thursday all the problems were entirely solved and all damages on the territory of Varbitsa Municipality were removed.
So, since 3 pm last Thursday, there is no village without electricity and water supply in the region of Shumen.
FOCUS: What do you think about the coordination between the various structures and institutions?
Donka Ivanova: I think there is very good coordination. Interaction and coordination are efficent.
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