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Bad Weather Grounds Flights in Altai Region

Two planes arriving from Moscow on Tuesday morning were unable to land at the Hermann Titov Airport in Barnaul, Altai region, due to strong winds and heavy snowfall, which have left many homes without power.

According to a statement on the airport's website, Sibir flight S7217 and UTAir flight UT467 both heading from Moscow to Barnaul had to make an emergency landing at the Tolmachevo airfield in Novosibirsk.

One hundred and eighty passengers are currently waiting in Novosibirsk to flight to Barnaul and another 166 are grounded in Barnaul waiting to fly to Moscow, the statement said.

A weather warning went out Monday night, and strong winds and heavy snowfall began early Tuesday morning. While one flight did manage to take off early Tuesday with only a slight delay, it is not yet clear when the other scheduled flights will be able to do the same.

The inclement conditions have also caused widespread power outages, with the number of villages without electricity nearing 70.

statement on the website of Altaienergo, a local energy company, said that teams of electricians have been working in almost zero visibility to restore power to those affected.

Portable backup generators are to be installed in areas of "social importance," the statement said, as the bad weather is expected to worsen.

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