The prefecture of the Haute Savoie has issued a severe weather warning for the next five days, the likes of which has never been seen before by local businesses. Distributed by the Morzine-Avoriaz Office de Tourisme late last night, the warning accompanies information on the emergency plans that are in place across the Haute Savoie.
The document in (French below) states:
– Significant snow fall is expected to commence on Wednesday evening and become increasingly intense during Thursday and Friday. The snow line will descend to 500m and there’s a high risk of avalanches across the mountains.
– The volume of snow expected could impact road conditions, the motorway network, electricity supplies and communications.
– Although the expected weather forecasts will be updated and could change, the local councils in each area asked to make advance preparations.
THE IMPORTANT PART (Issued by the Mairie):
– Although it’s normal for Morzine-Avoriaz to experience heavy snow falls at this time of year, it is not normal to receive such an advance warning from the Haute Savoie prefecture.
– If the expected snow falls on Friday and Saturday this week, travel in the resort will be disrupted.
– The Police Municipale will be heavily mobilised across the resorts, assisting with traffic and checking for snow chains.
– The commune has a Plan Communal de Sauvegarde (PCS) which has made available the rooms at the Palais du Sport in Morzine and the Festival Hall in Avoriaz, should they be required.
– The Mayor will make the decision on whether to activate the PCS, depending on weather conditions.
Although there’s no need to be alarmed at the moment, if you’re heading to resort this weekend, PLEASE put your snow chains on BEFORE you attempt to come up the mountain. Without snow chairs, the Police Municipale will stop you from even trying. If you’re leaving resort this weekend, leave extra time for your journey. If you’re booked on an airport transfer, expect your pick-up time to be earlier than planned.
Road users, including airport transfer drivers are also being asked to prepare their vehicles with blankets, food and water, and any other previsions necessary, should the worst happen. Road users are asked to be sensible and only travel if absolutely necessary, keeping the roads as unobstructed as possible for arriving and departing holiday makers.