First cars reach cut-off Alpine villages

Two men dwarfed in corridor of snow on road after avalanche
Workers are dwarfed by the snow from the avalanche that cut off Bessans and Bonneval-sur-Arc in Savoie

Road reopened via corridor lined high with snow after avalanche cut off access

UNTIL now blocked by a wall of snow, Bonneval-sur-Arc in Savoie has been opened up after a convoy of vans and cars succeeded in reaching the village which has been cut off by a massive avalanche 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 men 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. Access to the hamlets was opened up yesterday.

This morning the valley woke up to blue skies and better weather forecasts for this weekend’s Nordic ski Marathon International de Bessans over 42km.

Digger deep in snow as it clears a road
A digger works to clear a road in the avalanche snow between Bessans and Bonneval -sur-Arc


Dark view of avalanche cutting road in Savoie
An avalanche cut the road to Bonneval-sur-Arc over about 250m

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