All snow-stranded vehicles cleared from central Japan highways

All of the vehicles that had been stranded on expressways in central Japan amid heavy snow were cleared by late Monday, the road operator said.

Over 1,200 vehicles were stuck on sections of the Hokuriku Expressway in Fukui Prefecture as well as on the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway in Toyama Prefecture on Sunday as heavy snow continued in the area, according to Central Nippon Expressway Co.

Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter shows vehicles stranded in the snow on the Hokuriku Expressway in Awara in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, on Jan. 11, 2021, as heavy snowfall continued to hit the region. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Some 20 vehicles that had remained disabled on the Hokuriku Expressway were rescued by Ground Self-Defense Force members and other authorities late Monday night, the road operator said.

The prolonged blockage on the Hokuriku Expressway and heavy traffic on other routes led to a temporary shortage of food in convenience stores and other outlets in Fukui Prefecture as delivery trucks were also affected.

Hundreds of residents in neighboring Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures were temporarily isolated as roads to their homes were cut off by fallen trees or other impediments due to the heavy snow.

In February 2018, a severe snowstorm in the three prefectures on the Sea of Japan coast resulted in the stranding of roughly 1,500 vehicles on Route 8.

Vehicles are stranded in the snow on the Tokai Hokuriku Expressway in Toyama Prefecture, central Japan, on Jan. 10, 2021. Heavy snowfall continued across wide areas of the country, forcing some prefectures to request the Ground Self-Defense Force’s help in rescue operations. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter shows vehicles stranded in the snow on the Hokuriku Expressway in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, on Jan. 10, 2021. Heavy snowfall continued across wide areas of the country, forcing some prefectures to request the Ground Self-Defense Force’s help in rescue operations. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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