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Russia storing 119 million gallons of snow for Winter Olympics

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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Olympic sites under construction in Sochi, Russia, in March, 2013. (Reuters)

The host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games is putting fears over its readiness on ice. Literally. Officials in Sochi, Russia, announced they are storing 118,877,424 gallons of snow in preparation for the games.

That’s because while some parts of Russia have experienced an unusually cold winter, there has actually been a bit of a snow shortage in Sochi.

"We've prepared seven separate areas for snow storage high up in the mountains," Sergei Bachin, general director of Roza Khutor, a ski resort whose facilities are being used in the games, told Reuters. "We're storing such huge amounts of snow just in case."

Bachin said the situation is extremely unusual because the region normally has too much snow. About 1,000 miles north, Moscow is frantically busy digging itself out of a massive snowstorm.

In fact, Sochi Games chief Dmitry Chernyshenko said the concerns over warm weather are so serious that they're currently trumping worries over security, general readiness and even how well the Russians will perform.

Bachin told Reuters the extra snow is being coated with a “special thermo seal” to keep it from melting before next year.

The entire project is estimated to cost about $11 million.

"This was a very odd winter. Even locals don't remember when was the last time they had such warm days in the mountains," said Bachin. "It's highly unlikely we'll see the same kind of weather next year."

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