Snow, freezing weather causes disruptions in Bulgaria, Romania. Power out, roads blocked

Authorities have declared a state of emergency in northeastern Bulgaria as heavy snow and freezing temperatures are causing disruptions in both Bulgaria and Romania.

Strong winds and snow produced power outages, forced border crossings to close and blocked roads in northeast Bulgaria.

Romanian police said Bulgarian authorities had stopped traffic at two border crossings due to the heavy snow and advised citizens not to travel to the worst-hit areas. Some thirty villages were without power in Bulgaria's Ruen district, and some also had no water. Almost all local roads were impassable.

In Romania, the snow caused havoc on nine national highways and 180 towns and villages suffered power outages.

Temperatures are expected to plummet to minus 17 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in Bulgaria in the next few days.