The weather here has been consistently nice and warm for the past month or more. That’s typical for here, and snow in April (even a dusting) is extremely rare in Moldova. On Thursday, however, we got hit with a really big snowstorm with high winds and cold temperatures. According to the news, this is the most snow Moldova has ever gotten so late in spring. It also caused a lot of damage.
In Chisinau and the south of Moldova (where I live), we got about 2 feet of snow, and it came down fast. Power was out for the majority of Moldova for a couple of days and some locations are still without power. Heavy winds caused a lot of trees and branches to fall, and there were over 3 dozen car accidents in the capital alone.
The worst of the damage, though, will most likely be to crops. Moldovans start planting around March 8th, so a lot of things have been in the ground for over a month. In addition, fruit trees were in full bloom. There’s still a decent amount of snow on the ground, so it’s impossible to know how much damage there is. My host parents think the onions might be okay, but they (and everyone else) likely lost their potatoes and beans. A lot of people who have greenhouses lost everything because the strong winds destroyed the greenhouses and they couldn’t get everything inside quick enough. My host brother’s wife’s family think they lost about half of the plants in their greenhouse (which means about half of their yearly income). Moldovan officials have said there may be a shortage of fruits and vegetables this summer, leading to possible rationing.
My village lost power for over two days. My section of the village regained power around 8pm on Saturday, though some sections are still out. Thankfully, most houses in my village are older and therefore have sobas, or wood stoves, for heat. In areas with more modern homes with radiators, some people have been without heat for several days. We also didn’t lose water, but other villages did. It was a long two days without power. I’ve been on break the past week, and definitely got pretty bored without books to read (living abroad, I don’t have physical books and my Kindle’s battery was dead), people to play board games with (my host parents were busy preparing things for the holiday that is today and shoveling, etc.), or really anything else to do. On Saturday evening, I played a game of Bananagrams with myself to help pass the time.
It looks like this week will be back in the 60s or 70s, so the snow should melt quickly (it’s going to be so muddy!), and then we’ll see how much damage there is. For now, we are very thankful we have power again!