News

Avalanches, poor visibility may disrupt Sochi Olympics

Avalanches, poor visibility may disrupt Sochi Olympics

2014 OLYMPICS: A man walks past a shop with an Olympic logo in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi Dec. 21. Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian meteorologists have no concerns about a shortage of snow for the Winter Olympics in February but believe avalanches and poor visibility could disrupt the Sochi Games.

The slopes where ski races and other mountain events will be held, high above the sub-tropical Black Sea shore, should have 6.5 to 23 feet of snow, said the head of Rosgidromet state forecasting Alexander Frolov.

Frolov also told a news briefing there was “a risk that a two, three-day cyclone may set in and significantly complicate our lives. Then the avalanche danger will increase and we will have to … interrupt the Games”.

PHOTOS: Olympic Team USA uniforms

Avalanches are common in winter and emergency services in Russia fire artillery rounds at the slopes to force the snowpack to come down safely.

“The second risk for us is low visibility when the cloud cover comes down,” said Frolov.

President Vladimir Putin has staked his personal and political prestige on a successful Games in a location where most of the venues have had to be built from scratch.

Sochi Games chief Dmitry Chernyshenko has said the weather is viewed as a bigger potential problem for the organizers than security or infrastructure of a Games that has cost Russia around $50 billion.

Unusually warm temperatures last winter prompted organizers of Russia’s first post-Soviet Olympics, and first Winter Games, to store about 450,000 cubic meters (16 million cubic feet) of snow in the mountains just in case.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt, writing by Alexei Anishchuk, editing by Tony Jimenez)

Local Headlines

in Local

Lost Lumber Accident Under Investigation

Fresh
Clay Sheriff Dept 1240

An unknown vehicle left the scene after the accident and has yet to contact law enforcement...

in Local

Nominations Sought for Women of Innovation Awards

Fresh
tech

Nominations are open through September 14th...

in Local

Clay County Field Fire

fireback

Fire crews out of Fostoria and Spencer were called to a field fire early Thursday evening...

in Local

2nd Okoboji Middle School PPEL Levy Vote This Tuesday

Okoboji Pioneers Logo

In April 782 voted against the 10-year PPEL levy increase of $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable valuation for a 10 year term and 703 voted in favor...

in Local

IRRMA HOF Spectacular Weekend Preview

irrma

Tickets remain available for Sunday's Induction...