Monumental storm: Greece, Turkey paralyzed by feet of snow

Feet of snow stopped traffic and collapsed buildings in places used to getting only inches per storm.

Snow over the Acropolis in Athens, Greece is beautiful, but debilitating for the capital city.  Over 3,500 motorists were rescued and hundreds of others had to spend the night in their cars on an Athenian highway after heavy snow fell Monday and Tuesday. Areas around Athens saw up to 31 inches of snow.

"I haven’t seen this much snow in Athens in more than 15 years," wrote Jimmy Xenon when he took video of deep snow covering streets. The snow tapered off late Tuesday.

The ancient ruins in Santorini saw more snow than tourists Monday.

Heavy snow fell on Turkey as well. The weight of the snow caused a roof to collapse in a marketplace in Gaziantep, Turkey on Monday.

Snow stranded thousands of motorists around Istanbul, Turkey as well. The city’s governor banned private vehicles from roads and highways.

24,000 people were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in guesthouses and shelters said Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Authority (AFAD).

Days later on Wednesday cars were still covered in snow on the roadside.

In Hadımköy, many drivers who had to abandon their cars on the road on Monday have still not removed them.

Istanbul Airport suspended flights during the height of the storm stranding thousands of travelers.

AFAD reported that more than 27,000 vehicles across the country and 81,000 people were working to clear the snow.

Snow continues in Istanbul on Wednesday and Thursday according to the Turkish State Meteorological Service. Athens will warm to around 50 by late week, reports the Hellenic National Meteorological Service, which will help melt some of the snow.