A few St. Petersburg residents were hit and cars were damaged by falling icicles in the first half of November. Social networks are full with pictures of destroyed cars, broken front windows and bonnets. Authorities are doing what they can do but demolishing all the icicles within the city, a task which could not be handled even in the Soviet times, is just impossible.
While the winter is setting in with the city covered by snow, one traditional danger is getting bigger: icicles. Due to the St. Petersburg’s unsettled weather and some other reasons, pieces of ice hanging off roofs are growing rapidly in size and numbers. Snow on the roof starts to melt because of heat inside of a building and turning into water at first then comes in the form of ice at the edge of a roof. The same thing happens when thaw comes or when strong frosts appear causing a greater difference outside and inside of a building and thus making icicles build up faster. That’s resulted into the picture you can see if you look up while strolling through downtown.
The problem is greater in St. Petersburg than in other Russian city due to local construction specifics, we mean, architectural styles many houses are built in. The most dangerous site in city is the historic centre as most buildings are not separated from sidewalks as is case in sleeping districts.
In 2010, deaths by icicles caused a political scandal as residents became angry with city governor Valentina Matvyienko’s incapability to handle consequences of snowfall, ice dams and falling icicles. The “snowgate” contributed to Matvyienko’s dismissal in late 2011.
November 2016 became a big surprise to residents as temperatures were lower than yearly average for this period. At the start of the month St. Petersburg has suffered from snowfall and now it is experiencing a big melting period which causes mud on the streets.
Melting roof snow came to life of many citizens in the form of icicles falling on their heads and shoulders or their cars. Luckily, still no fatalities have been recorded and we hope it will remain so.
We publish some photos of damaged cars from social networks below.
Our advice here is to remain as far from buildings as possible. In case you cannot do it, look up to check it out.
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