ST. PETERSBURG, November 17, /ITAR-TASS/. The closure of the gates of the St. Petersburg dam, which was caused by the threat of flood, affected the navigation in the Gulf of Finland. Passenger ferryboat Princess Maria and seven dry cargo ships are waiting for a permit to enter the St. Petersburg seaport four nautical miles away from Kronshtadt, deputy captain of the port Mikhail Kharyuzov told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
“The ferryboat Princess Maria (admits about 1,600 passengers - Itar-Tass eds) and seven dry cargo vessels could not enter the harbour of the St. Petersburg major port overnight to Sunday. These vessels are staying in the open sea area,” Kharyuzov said, adding that 12 ships were taken from the harbour of the St. Petersburg port before the dam was closed.
The waves are about 1.5 metres high in the open area of the Gulf of Finland, chief weatherman of the St. Petersburg weather forecasting service Aleksander Kolesov said. Stronger winds are expected by 15:00 Moscow time on Sunday. So, the tourists from the ferry Princess Maria will be probably affected by 2.5-metre-high waves. The planned time to open the navigation passes of the dam is 19:40 Moscow time (15:40 GMT),” the directorate of the St. Petersburg flood protecting facilities told Itar-Tass.
Strong western winds stirred up a water rise on Neva River. The water level at the Mining Institute, which is a control point of the St. Petersburg weather forecasting service, has made 98cm at 10:00 Moscow time on Sunday. The water level is 110cm at the port of Kronshtadt on the outer side of the St. Petersburg dam with the critical level of 160cm.
Navigation passes and water sluices of the St. Peteersburg flood protecting facilities were closed at 02:30 Moscow time. “All facilities operate as scheduled. The peak of the water rise is expected by 17.00-18.00 Moscow time,” the directorate of the city flood protecting facilities.