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The chaos of snow in Bavaria: how do you live in a snowy village?

Jachenau am Walchensee has been largely cut off from the outside world since the weekend. The mayor of the city has seen many snowy winters – but it has never been so extreme.


Interview by Merlin Gröber

Winter chaos prevails in Jachenau. From the weekend the village has snowed at Walchensee. Ice, snow and fallen trees block the main road. A small toll road is the only connection to the outside world. With heavy equipment, it is painstakingly kept free for emergencies. Mayor Georg Riesch in his fight against the elements and a milk cart that challenges the storm.

SZ: Mr. Riesch, your village is largely isolated from the outside world. What happens there?

Georg Riesch: It snowed and the old snow is frozen on the trees. The wet snow, which was added last weekend, got stuck in the trees. This has overturned many trees and now they are hanging on the street. The access road to the next town of Lenggries is therefore closed. The toll road to Einsiedl, however, is still passable. The route passes through the forest and along Walchensee. The trees are hanging in the street, but we have been able to eliminate them. If it's not vital, nobody should go out there anyway.

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What are you doing to restore a secure connection to the open air?

We entered with a harvester, a big lumberjack machine, and tried to clear the main road to Lenggries. The collector cuts the fallen trees and turns them over. But we had to stop the mission, it was too dangerous. It can always overturn the trees.

They snowed from the weekend. How is the mood in the village?

At this moment everyone is busy with snow shovels. Commuters took a few days off. Many villagers offer us their help. People are very active and stay together. The supply is guaranteed. The Red Cross now also sends us an 'ambulance to the village. This is important if the weather worsens and the emergency route remains closed. If you do not shovel snow, you can go sledding. The school and kindergarten are closed. For this, the elevator operator in the village agreed to turn on his lift. It usually works only on weekends. Children have a great joy.

So the children are the winners of the chaos of the snow.

Yes, you can say it. Maybe they would prefer to go to school, but I think, at the moment they say one another: fantastic, now we have a week of longer vacations.

C & # 39; Has it ever been a similar incident?

I've never tried anything like that. That sometimes a road is closed because of fallen trees, this happens. But it usually takes an hour or two. We often have it in winter. But it has never been so extreme.

How should you continue in the next few days?

We will try to keep the emergency route clear to keep people cared for. This is also important for agriculture, otherwise milk will not be harvested. But this must happen, because farmers do not have as much storage capacity to keep all the milk. The milk truck is therefore always with an incoming support vehicle, then passes safely. Commuters must still be patient. Because who escapes now, does not know if he will return home in the evening.

The first ski areas surrender in front of the snow

With the exception of three smaller elevators, for example, there is nothing left in Brauneck. In the streets of Lower Bavaria, they are now closed.


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