Powerful historic snowstorm Filomena in Spain killed five people, paralyzed travel and blanketed the capital Madrid. The capital’s Barajas airport was shut from Friday night. More than 650 roads were blocked in the country. Storm Filomena brought the heaviest snowfall in decades across central Spain. In the Madrid area there were 1,500 people trapped in cars. “I want to reiterate the government’s call for maximum caution in the face of the evolution of the weather in the next few hours,” tweeted Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. More than 20 inches of snow fell in the Spanish capital. As of Saturday evening, Spanish security services had rescued all the people who were trapped in vehicles.
Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska called Filomena “the most intense storm in the last 50 years.” It’s expected that temperatures would plunge to minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) next week. Transport Minster José Luis Ábalos warned that “snow is going to turn into ice and we will enter a situation perhaps more dangerous. The wintry weather did disrupt the country’s soccer league, with some teams unable to travel for games. More than half of Spain’s provinces remained under severe weather alerts for Storm Filomena.