January 1985-2020: the anniversary of the greatest snowfall of the (last) century.3 min read
The snowfall of January 1985 in Italy is very popular still today: between 13 and 17 January many cities in the north of the country found themselves covered by almost a meter of snow.
The legendary snowfall in these days turns 35.
And the memory remains indelible: who was there will never forget it, and who has not lived it surely have heard of it.
The beginning was on January 13th, exactly 35 years ago. A very cold day, with the thermometer dropped over 10 degrees below zero. In the evening the airports of Malpensa and Linate had to close due to bad weather. The next day all of Lombardy woke up with over 30 centimeters of snow, and it was not over yet. Closed schools, offices with half of the employees and the other half stuck on the road.
There was no lack of damage: collapsed roofs, accidents, falls, and in cities like Monza and Milan also the army arrived to clear snow from the streets.
Already in the previous days, streams from Iceland and Greenland had brought temperatures down to record levels, and in Valtellina they registered -20 degrees. However, if in many Lombard cities, the snow sometimes left room for rain, in Milan there was only snow until 10 pm on Wednesday 16 January.
The exceptional nature of the phenomenon caused chaos and problems throughout Northern Italy, an area unprepared for such a situation. Furthermore, some snowplow and equipment of the Lombard metropolis have previously been sent to Rome, since the italian capital city had already been blocked, on January 6, by an anomalous snowfall.
In Milan, sixty to eighty centimeters of snow had settled on the ice crusts that the great frost of the previous days had scattered here and there: a problem of difficult management for a city not prepared for such emergencies.
Among other problems, many people fell on the iced streets, and for those who had to go to the emergency room, arriving by ambulance to the hospital had become a problem in those days.
Milan remained blocked for three days, with the streets invaded by sledding, children and some characters on skis. Some roads were again made accessible to traffic after the intervention of the tanks of the Perucchetti barracks, located within the city, that tried to free the main urban roads by crushing and moving the snow. About 650 military were employed, all headquartered in barracks within or outside the city, and only cars with snow chains were able to move through city streets.
Below a beautiful collection of photos (from web):