Search and Rescue was called in the late hours of Thursday evening to help dig out the nearly 200 vehicles that had gotten stuck on Hellisheiði mountain pass during a major winter storm, Vísir reports.
Hellisheiði is a plateau on Route 1, between Reykjavík and the town of Hveragerði. According to Search and Rescue’s regional director Þorvaldur Hallsson, the conditions of the traffic snarl were the worst around Litla Kaffistofan, a roadside coffee shop and gas station not far from the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant.
Strong winds had pushed a lorry across the road near the coffee shop, obstructing all other traffic. While Search and Rescue workers worked to straighten out the truck, other cars behind it became stuck in the snow. Teams were still working to free all of the cars stuck on the heath as of midnight on Thursday night, but Þorvaldur said that the end of the rescue was in sight.
A video of rescue efforts can be seen on the Vísir website, here.
Travelers are encouraged to check Icelandic Road Association’s website for current travel conditions and road closures, especially as driving conditions are expected to be difficult throughout the country for next few days.