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Snow, Heavy Rain Cause Floods, Disruption In Balkans


Cars were nearly submerged in the Kosovar town of Fushe, near Pristina.

Heavy rains and snowfalls across the Balkans over the past several days have swamped roads, damaged buildings, and disrupted land and sea traffic.

In Serbia's southern Doljevac municipality, rescue teams came to the aid of dozens of people who had to be evacuated from their homes.

Tons of garbage clogged a lake in southwestern Serbia after being swept off landfills by overflowing rivers.

Fields and barns were flooded and villages were left without drinking water in the southern town of Leskovac and other towns and villages in the area, state TV reported.

Thousands were left without electricity after snow collapsed distribution lines in central and eastern regions of Serbia.

A man walks past a collapsed road due to heavy floods in the Kosovar village of Sferke on January 10.
A man walks past a collapsed road due to heavy floods in the Kosovar village of Sferke on January 10.

Floods were also reported in Albania and Kosovo, where days of heavy rain were mixed with snowfalls.

In western Albania, roads have been damaged, leaving villages isolated, while in the northwest, thousands of hectares of land have been flooded, authorities said.

Power outages were also reported, preventing the reopening of schools on January 11, as the military and police came to the assistance of isolated residents in the areas of Shkoder, Lezha, and Durres -- areas that had suffered major devastation during flooding in 2010.

At least 36 families in and around the coastal Lezha and Durres areas were evacuated and around 20 buildings were damaged by the floods, according to a Defense Ministry statement.

In Kosovo, in the small town of Fushe, on the outskirts of the capital, Pristina, cars were nearly submerged by muddy floodwaters in some neighborhoods.

Kosovo security forces said rescue operations were being carried out in "several locations."

Kosovo Floods Leave Thousands Without Power, Drinking Water
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Raging waters brought down two bridges in southern Kosovo and left around 14 families isolated in a hamlet in the north.

Police said there were no deaths so far. Kosovo's weather authority said the country was bracing for more heavy rains in the days ahead.

Officials were consulting with the commanders of NATO-led peacekeepers over how to help flood-hit areas in the west, where people have been forced to evacuate their homes.

Heavy rains in Montenegro damaged a fortress wall in the southern town of Ulcinj, which is near the border with Albania.

Traffic disruption and speed limits due to snow were reported in Croatia.

With reporting by AP and AFP
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