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After A Tepid Start, Cities Like Rome, Denver Receive Winter Battering

A man dressed as a Roman Centurion stands in front of the ancient Colosseum as snowflakes fall in downtown Rome on Friday.
Angelo Carconi
A man dressed as a Roman Centurion stands in front of the ancient Colosseum as snowflakes fall in downtown Rome on Friday.

Denver and Rome could not be farther apart. But today one city used to massive snow storms is facing a blizzard so big it cancelled 310 flights, even though the Denver airport has 500 workers clearing the snow. The other one hasn't seen this much snow since the '80s.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli told our Newscast unit the 1.5 inches of snow in Rome and the 16 inches that have accumulated in the northern suburbs have meant that very few attended schools and big tourist attractions like the Colosseum were closed.

"In a city unaccustomed to snow, icy roads caused traffic jams and made walking on the uneven cobble stone streets a treacherous endeavor," Sylvia reports.

In Denver, The Denver Post reports, that blizzard conditions which have blanketed a wide swath of the area with winds up to 40 mph, shutdown schools, government and businesses.

CBS News reportsthat snow started falling last night and it won't stop until Saturday morning. About two feet of snow is expected.

After what's been a mild winter for most, it looks like over the past week winter has really gotten going.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow that below-zero temperatures are even keeping cold-hardened Russians inside. So much so that protest organizers are revising plans to make a scheduled march on Saturday shorter to keep people from freezing.

In the Ukraine things are more serious. The BBC reports that temperatures plunged to negative 22 degrees Fahrenheit. The country announced today that 38 more people had died, the total reaching 101.

The BBC reports:

The emergency ministry opened about 3,000 "heating shelters" - military-style tents made of heavy canvas and with wooden floors - where the homeless could find refuge.

Inside, they are provided with a warm space to sleep, and hot meals and drinks. Though the conditions are Spartan, they are nonetheless greatly appreciated.

"Where else can we sleep?" asks Alex, 23, who was kicked out of a rented room when he lost his job. "If you sleep in underpasses or stairwells, it's only a little bit warmer than on the street."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.