Anhui braves rare heavy snowfall to safeguard power, roads

(Chinadaily.com.cn) 09:59, February 04, 2024

Dong Shuai (left) and Ren Tianxiang inspect power lines in the village of Xiaogang, Fengyang county, East China's Anhui province, Feb 2, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

HEFEI - For Dong Shuai, this year's heavy snow is unprecedented. Yet, though the village roads are blanketed with over 10 cm of fresh snow, Dong persists in facing the blizzard to inspect at least 100 utility poles daily.

"When the snowfall intensifies, the importance of inspecting power distribution poles becomes even more critical," said Dong, a staff member at the power supply station in the village of Xiaogang, Fengyang county, East China's Anhui province.

He highlighted the potential risks of short circuits and power outages due to the rare heavy snowfall. Close by, his colleague Ren Tianxiang was using an infrared thermometer to gauge the temperature of a transformer.

"If the temperature of any part of the transformer surpasses the ambient temperature by 40 degrees Celsius, the thermometer issues an alert," Ren said.

Since Wednesday, snowfall has occurred in multiple cities and counties across Anhui, and has caused disruptions on several sections of highways in the province.

Data showed that between 2 pm and 11 pm on Thursday, the accumulated snowfall had reached 9 mm and the snow depth in the farmlands of Fengyang county had reached 12 cm, leading to icy roads throughout the county.

Confronting these challenging conditions, Anhui's emergency management authority announced on Thursday that the province's power system had positioned over 170 workers across 52 ice observation stations for real-time monitoring.

In addition to power and police units, various departments, including transportation and emergency management, are also actively responding to challenges posed by the snowfall.

Anhui's transportation authorities have deployed over 12,400 emergency teams with access to more than 3,800 pieces of ice and snow removing equipment and over 38,000 tonnes of snow-melting agents.

The weather forecast predicts even heavier snowfall in some parts of Anhui on Saturday and Sunday. Despite this, national and provincial road operations in Fengyang County have fully resumed. The county has distributed 1,000 blankets and 1,000 coats, applied 87 tonnes of snow-melting agents, and mobilized about 3,400 people to clean roads and manage traffic.

On Friday afternoon, congestion occurred along national highway 329 after some vehicles became stranded on uphill sections. In response, Liu Jiaqing, 58, a staff member of Fengyang's highway transportation management service center, together with his team, drove a vehicle loaded with snow-melting agents to the affected areas and applied the agents in a bid to alleviate the snow impact.

"We started working in the afternoon and didn't stop until 2 am the next morning," Liu said. "Wherever needed, we shall go."

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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