Catalunya and the Results of the Freak Storm
Monday, March 8 2010 saw an incredible snowstorm hit Gerona, and surrounding Costa Brava towns in Spain. The winds were of such unbelievable strength that they brought down or damaged hundreds of electricity pylons. This caused a mass blackout over a vast area of Catalunya and the results of the freak storm were felt over many miles.
The Results of the Freak Storm
The storm lasted less than 24 hours, but caused immense damage during that time. In Lloret de Mar they saw snow for the first time in 30 years, and they were so unprepared it brought everything to a standstill, with schools, railways and roads closed.
That same evening, the entire area around Gerona and the Costa Brava were plunged into total darkness, as pylons came down, and electricity was cut off completely. This in turn brought down cellphone towers, and many land lines were cut off too.
Residents were left for three days like this, without electricity, no lights, no phones, not knowing what was going on.
Then when the electricity companies realised how bad the damage was, huge generators were brought in on trucks, and placed all around the towns and villages. This gave everyone power back, at least while fuel lasted for the generators. Each time the fuel ran out, the electric would go off again until it could be refilled.
As of Friday March 19, things still remained the same.
First reports started to come in that the city of Gerona had electricity restored, but the smaller towns and villages of Gerona and the costa brava were still on generators.
This is one of the worst storms to hit Catalunya and the results of the freak storm were evident for many kilometres. Some of the electricity pylons were snapped off near the base, others were left as a pile of twisted metal.
The repair job is a huge undertaking, and workers are working all-out to try to finish the job.
This is doing little however, to appease local residents, who are finding themselves quickly running out of patience.
There have already been various protests on the streets and aimed at the town halls in various locations. Protests about the electricity company, the initial problems and their response to them, and also protests to the town halls about the poor response from their end. 13 days on, and things are still not looking any better for the towns and villages of the costa brava.