Spain shovels out of snowdrifts left by Storm Filomena

Spain shovels out of snowdrifts left by Storm Filomena

At least four people have died in Spain and troops have rescued drivers trapped by snow as Storm Filomena continues to cause travel chaos across the country, with Madrid seeing the heaviest snowfall in decades.

Madrid and four other regions were on red alert on Saturday as more heavy snowfalls were forecast, according to Aemet.

Sandra Morena, who became trapped late on Friday as she commuted to her night shift as a security guard in a shopping centre, arrived home, on foot, after an army emergency unit helped her out on Saturday morning.

The storm also brought heavy rains before moving into southern France.

"Our aim is to make the most of every minute before Monday when the drop in temperature happens", Martinez-Almeida told Sexta television late Saturday.

"It is going to be very complicated".

Skiers glided down Gran Via, normally one of the busiest streets in the capital city of Madrid, while other residents took advantage of the freak blizzard to snowboard down the road.

Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said on Sunday that the danger was that the piles of snow could transform into ice because of the unprecedented low temperatures expected.

Madrid's Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas International Airport, shut since Friday night, remained closed on Sunday, along with railway lines crossing the capital, and more than 150 roads were still impassable.

Storm Filomena moved Sunday to the regions of Catalonia and Aragon in the northeast of the country, affected by less snowfall than in the center of the country the day before.

Dr Álvaro Sanchez walked 17 km through the snow on Saturday to work at a hospital in Majadahonda, prompting owners of 4x4 vehicles to give health workers lifts to work.

Volunteers helped soldiers clear access to the city's hospitals, still struggling to cope with the country's coronavirus crisis.

More than 100 roads were still impassable nearly 24 hours after the storm began dumping snow on the central swathe of the country.

The authorities in the capital have closed the city's schools, colleges and universities at least until Wednesday.

Storm Filomena has brought freezing temperatures across Spain with Madrid and the vast region of Castilla La Mancha blanketed in white on Thursday.

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