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Moscow Swimming as Record Snowfall Melts

A municipal worker wading through puddles as he walks home Wednesday. Vladimir Filonov

This winter's record snowfall has left the city swimming as warmer temperatures melt away high snowdrifts.

Ten centimeters of snow melted between Sunday and Wednesday, leaving Moscow with 59 centimeters, Interfax reported, citing the weather bureau.

But the temperature is proving slightly less warm than originally expected, pointing toward a possible slowdown in the melting process.

The temperature peaked at 12 degrees Celsius this week and was predicted to maintain that level through the next week. But weather forecasters now believe that the temperature will not rise above 7 C on Friday and over the weekend, which should slow the rate of melting.

The Mayor's Office has offered assurances to residents that the city is prepared for the issue. Pyotr Biryukov, deputy mayor for housing and public works, told reporters on Tuesday that 250 emergency personnel had been recruited to deal directly with the melting snow and that he does not expect any flooding.

Moscow saw a 50-year record of snowfall this winter, including an unseasonable snowstorm on Monday that dumped 40 percent of the month's average snowfall on the city in a single day.

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