In Alps, Avalanche Warnings and Stranded Skiers After 6 Feet of Snow

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A snowplow clearing a road leading to the French Alps ski resort of Les Menuires on Thursday, after the region was swept by storm Eleanor.

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Jean-Pierre Clatot/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Alps faced widespread avalanche warnings, and some villages were cut off this week after the winter storm Eleanor swept through the region, dumping more than six feet of snow in some areas.

The road into the French ski resort of Val Thorens was closed because of the snowfall for a period of time from Wednesday into Thursday, leaving thousands of vacationers stranded. Authorities advised those staying in the area to remain indoors until the storm passed by.

But even after the snowfall stopped, the risk for avalanches continued, with Val Thorens and other areas remaining on the highest alert in the days after the storm.

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The slopes of the French ski resort of Les Menuires on Thursday. The French Alps were on avalanche alert after the winter storm Eleanor swept through Europe.

Credit
Jean-Pierre Clatot/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In the Austrian Alps, two German skiers were killed in an avalanche on Friday near Kals in Tyrol province, according to the German news outlet Bild.

In the Italian ski resort town of Cervinia, the storm blanketed the area with two meters, or six and a half feet, of snow. The only road connecting the resort to the outside world was closed for 24 hours, leaving nearly 10,000 tourists stranded in the town, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. Photos posted to social media showed buried cars and sidewalks and streets made impassable by the snow.

When the road out of Cervinia reopened on Friday afternoon, a line of cars was waiting to exit the town.

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