Heavy rain and snow across Catalonia cause disruption as strong waves batter coast

Warnings for snow until Wednesday lunchtime with coastal warnings until Thursday

The entrance to Bracons Tunnel was closed due to snow
The entrance to Bracons Tunnel was closed due to snow / Gemma Tubert / Xavier Pi
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 7, 2023 06:21 PM

February 7, 2023 06:23 PM

Heavy rain and snow fell throughout Catalonia on Tuesday causing damage and disruption, with strong waves battering the coast. 

Meteocat, Catalonia's Meteorological Service, highlighted in a tweet some of areas that saw the most precipitation. 

More than 66mm of rainfall was recorded at Puig Sesolles, a mountain in Montseny Natural Park, north of Barcelona, while 20cm of snow was recorded in Cantonigròs, in Osono, Central Catalonia.  

Weather forecasters at TV3, Catalonia's public broadcaster, called the snowfall the "most significant of the winter season." 

Snow warnings remain in place until Wednesday at 1pm, while  coastal warnings, some severe, remain until Thursday at 1pm.

Beach and buildings damaged in Badalona  

In the city of Badalona, just north of Barcelona along the coast, the storm caused significant damage to buildings on the shorefront. 

Furthermore, Barca Maria beach has been left with no sand, forcing the closure of the seafront walkway along this stretch of the coast. 

The city's emergency technical committe has also closed three parks due to strong gusts of wind: Can Solei, Ca l'Arnús and l'Escorxador. 

Local councilor for Civil Protection, David Torrents, has demanded that the Catalan and Spanish governments come up with a "technical solution" that will definitively stabilize the city's beaches and put an end to the regression of the coastline. He claims "nothing has been done", despite council warnings since Storm Gloria in 2020

Torrents warned that warnings indicate that the storm could continue to cause damage until Wednesday evening. 

Ebre Delta flooding 

The first night of the storm caused flooding the Ebre Delta in the very south of Catalonia. The Trabucador isthmus, a narrow strip of land connecting the mainland to the Punta de la Banya peninsula was impassable, except for tractors, after being breached by the sea. 

Spain's Ministry for Ecological Transition is still carrying out work to reinforce the sandbar following the damage caused by Storm Gloria in 2020 and Storm Filomena in 2021

Road, rail and school disruption 

The Bracons Tunnel, on the C-37 between Vic and Olot, was forced to closed due to the snow from around 2.15pm, the Catalan Traffic Service reported. It reopened about two hours later. Snow chains were necessary on the C-25 between Sant Julià de Vilatorta and Santa Coloma de Farners, while trucks were temporarily banned from the same section of road. 

The Civil Protection Agency have asked motorists to avoid making journeys in the snow as much as possible, especially in the Girona and Central Catalonia regions, so that snow removal machines can operate. 

Rail services on the R11 and RG1 lines between Girona and Maçanet in the direction of Barcelona were halted due to a fallen tree on the line, but were up and running again by 2.30pm. Caldes de Malavella and Maçanet, as reported by Civil and Neighborhood Protection. The incident has been resolved once Adif has been able to remove the tree and the frequencies of passage will gradually recover. 

Around 200 students at schools in towns near Osona, Central Catalonia, were sent home early in order to guarantee their safe return. 

By 5.30pm, the fire service had attended over 100 incidents, over half of those in the northern metropolitan region.