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PARIS (AP) — The Eiffel Tower was closed and French authorities told drivers in the Paris region to stay home Friday as snow and freezing rain pummeled parts of the country that are ill-prepared for the wintry weather.

The company that manages France’s most-visited monument said the 19th-century Eiffel Tower will be closed all day Friday and Saturday “to ensure the security of visitors.”

Workers with hand shovels were carefully clearing snow from the monument’s intricate ironwork and de-icing stairs and platforms. The company said they can’t use salt because it could corrode the Eiffel Tower’s metal and damage its heavily used elevators.

Heavy snowfall earlier this week trapped hundreds of drivers in cars and caused the worst-ever traffic jams in the Paris region.

More snow is forecast Friday and authorities are warning of dangerous conditions in about one-fourth of the country.

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