Gressoney isolated: avalanche blocks a tunnel. More snowfalls expected

Gressoney isolated: avalanche blocks a tunnel. More snowfalls expected
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Due to the strong bad weather that gives no respite, one Avalanche in the territory of Gaby in the Lys valley, in the Aosta Valley, effectively blocked regional road 44, obstructing the entrance and exit passage of a gallery. Fortunately, no people were reported inside but the municipalities of Gressoney Saint Jean and Gressoney-La-Trinité remained isolated.

The words of the mayors

Around 1pm an Avalanche Commission employee who was in the area saw the load of snow hit the tunnel and immediately raised the alarm – he told the Corriere il mayor by Gaby, Francesco Valerio. In this specific case, the Bounison tunnel, in the Gatti Neri area, was blocked by the avalanche and was already affected by a similar situation in 2019.”We immediately responded to the scene, fortunately no one was injured. The situation is now at a standstill, it has stopped snowing but the forecast calls for heavy rainfall during the night. Therefore, operations stopped. We’ll talk about it again tomorrow morning.” he adds.

Until the avalanche is cleared, residents will not be able to move since regional road 44 is the only road leading down to the valley: according to initial information, almost 800 tourists are also stranded. The mayor of Gressoney-La-Trinité, Alessandro Girod, also spoke on the matter, saying that the avalanche “physically interrupted traffic.” Experts are evaluating whether, for safety reasons, regional road 43 will also be closed to traffic. There is a lot of snow estimated at over one and a half meters and the avalanche affected a very large side.

Due to the bad weather, traffic on the regional road 47 of Cogne was also blocked, decided by the mayor of Aymvilles: in the last few hours, the Civil Protection has issued an orange alert which will also continue for tomorrow, Monday 4 March. “It’s not the first time this has happened, we’re used to it – concludes Girod. When it snows a lot, it can happen, it’s a sensitive area”.

What is the avalanche risk

The heavy snowfalls in recent hours have raised the risk of avalanches to “4, strong” on a scale ranging from one to five in Piedmont: this was announced by ARPA which issued an orange alert for the northern and western areas (Novarese, Torinese, upper Val Susa and upper Cuneo), and a yellow alert in the province of Verbania and in the southern, eastern and upper Tanaro sectors. In the last few hours, peaks of more than 70 cm have fallen in many Alpine locations in the North-West and it is estimated that, by the end of today, even more than a meter of new snow could fall.

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