Strong winds knock out traffic lights & trees, cause flooding in St. Pete (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

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A powerful storm has been raging in Russia's second city St. Petersburg, damaging traffic lights, trees and even monuments, and pushing the Neva River towards its limits. Just two more centimeters and the river will reach flood level for the first time in several years, meteorologists have warned.

The storm has been wreaking havoc since Friday, when the St. Petersburg dam gates were shut. The dam helps protect the city from floods by holding back water from the Baltic coming into the Neva Bay.

Strong winds knocked down a monument in the form of a ship standing near Hotel St. Petersburg, Radio Baltika reported on Saturday.

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Видео опубликовано Regina Podzorova (@r.podzorova)

Witnesses said gusty winds brought traffic lights crashing down and overturned containers with trash into the way of traffic, with roadside obstructions damaging cars parked nearby.

Several people received minor injuries as kiosks collapsed due to heavy winds at a local market.

On Monday squally winds reached between 22 and 27 meters per second in the Gulf of Finland.

Floods in Russia's northern capital are registered when the water level rises above 160cm. “It's currently 159 according to a gauge at the St. Petersburg Mining Institute,” the city's chief meteorologist, Aleksandr Kolesov, told TASS on Monday. A north-western wind will be blowing for the next six hours. There will probably be a flood,” he added.

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However, the meteorologist reassured locals the situation won't worsen into a diasater. “The maximum [level] will remain as it currently is. It may only increase several centimeters.”

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Фото опубликовано Anton Gorbatsevich (@rubleniy)