ST. PETERSBURG, January 3. /TASS/. By midnight the water has reached 168 centimetres above the zero water level along the outside diameter of anti-flood facilities in St. Petersburg, northern Russian capital, the St. Petersburg branch of Russian Ministry of Emergencies said. For the last few hours this water level has risen by more than 80 centimetres, but a flood did not occur in the city thanks to closed dam gates.
Meanwhile, winds remain high up to 20 metres per second in the Gulf of Finland, the St. Petersburg weather-forecasting service said. So, the water level may keep rising.
The St. Petersburg dam gates were shut down at around 4pm Moscow time (1pm GMT) on Friday amid squally winds.
Six merchant ships failed to call at the St. Petersburg seaport before the dam gates closed. These vessels will be waiting for the storm to subside in the Gulf of Finland until Saturday morning.
The cruiser Princess Anastasia is expected to arrive at 6.30am Moscow time (3.30am GMT), but it is most likely to call at the port without any delay.
Floodgates shut down at 3.50pm Moscow time (1.50pm GMT) on Friday are planned to re-open by 5am Moscow time (2am GMT) on Saturday, authorities of the St. Petersburg anti-flood facilities said earlier.