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First cars reach cut-off Alpine villages

The Connexion, Jan 12

The first photos of the Alpine village cut off by an avalanche didn’t do it justice.  Yesterday a new road was carved out to Bonneval-sur-Arc in Savoie, and several vans and cars have managed to reach the village which was cut off by a massive avalanche for several days since Monday night.

Avalanche expert Alain Duclos, of Data Avalanche and Savoie department, said he had never seen anything like it in 20 years, with snow up to seven metres deep and burying the road for about 250m between Bessans and Bonneval-sur-Arc in the Haute-Marienne valley.

Snow ploughs and diggers managed to clear a vehicle-wide trench, opening a corridor that was up to seven metres high in places, dwarfing both machines and the people inside them.

Once the ploughs had created an access, Bonneval Mairie organised morning and evening convoys, from 8.00-9.00 and 17.00-18.00, with journeys made in each direction.

Many other hamlets were also cut off by the snows from storm Eleanor which people in the area said were the heaviest for 30 years, with up to one metre of snow falling in a day. 

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