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Fresh snowfall snarls road, rail and air traffic in the south

Trains, planes and automobiles have been delayed by a new dump of snow in Finland's southern and central areas – and more is on the way.

Road conditions in southern and central Finland are very hazardous this Sunday due to new heavy snowfall. Over 11 centimetres of new snow fell on Helsinki and Espoo overnight, for example.

High winds with blowing snow continue to hamper visibility in areas, and have helped to form large drifts that maintenance crews are working overtime to remove.

"Some smaller roads may be blocked altogether. Many cars are stuck," says Kirsi Salokanto, a traffic officer with Traffic Management Finland.

Although ploughs and front-end loaders are out in force, the authorities ask that motorists who must venture out into traffic reserve extra time and exercise caution.

Helsinki's Rescue Services unit also warns pedestrians about snow and ice that might fall from rooftops in the city. It advises people on the pavement to avoid walking in potentially dangerous areas, and reminds property managers to remove snow and ice that could pose a hazard at once.

Delays at airports and train stations

Airport operator Finavia has released a bulletin saying that the "challenging snow conditions" may cause delays. Several flights at the Helsinki Airport have been behind schedule Sunday morning, despite the famous snow clean-up team there doing its best to keep the runways open.

At least five long-distance trains were delayed on Sunday morning, as the train operator VR also warned ticketholders about possible timetables changes. Commuter N-train routes have been cut back to enable snow removal work on the tracks.

Newspaper deliveries have also been interrupted in the capital city area, according to some reports.

The latest snowfall has not caused any major power outages in Finland so far. Just over 2,500 homes and businesses were reported without electricity in 39 central and southern municipalities as of around noon.

The snowfall is expected to continue through the day on Sunday, and more snow is in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday, in southeast and central areas in particular.

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