Throughout Germany, a storm causes damage, power outages and disruptions in rail traffic. Long-distance traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia and regional rail traffic in the east comes to a temporary standstill. Numerous federal states are affected by power outages. There are several injured.
The first autumn storm caused damage and chaos in train traffic in large parts of Germany. According to the German Weather Service (DWD), the storm field covered the entire federal territory. Strong winds and hurricane-like gusts caused numerous trees to topple over, they toppled over on rails and roads. Police and fire brigades moved out on hundreds of missions.
People were injured in several federal states. In Hesse, for example, a tree fell on a moving car on a country road, and the 58-year-old driver was seriously injured. In Thuringia, a branch caught the car of a driver who then also had to go to the hospital. A cyclist in Saxony-Anhalt was injured by a falling tree and therefore treated as an inpatient. A 17-year-old motorcyclist in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was also injured. Several people were trapped in their cars by fallen trees.
A falling tree in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, barely missed a 20-year-old who was just getting out of the car. However, a branch hit her on the head and she was taken to a clinic. A 22-year-old said her car was hit by a gust of wind on the A31. The woman lost control and got off the lane, her car rolled over and stopped on the driver’s side – she was seriously injured in the hospital.
Bahn is temporarily stopping long-distance traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia
In North Rhine-Westphalia, Deutsche Bahn temporarily suspended long-distance traffic. Only after more than three hours did express trains start rolling again on the important routes from Hamburg or Berlin in the afternoon. There were also delays and impairments in regional traffic due to branches or other objects on the tracks and in the overhead lines.
In Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, Deutsche Bahn temporarily stopped regional traffic. The railway switched a free special hotline on 08000 996633.
The first autumn storm raged in the Harz region in particular, the DWD said. Wind speeds of around 150 kilometers per hour were measured on the Brocken. The measuring device even failed there for a few hours, so that, according to DWD information, the wind is likely to have been even stronger. The Harz narrow-gauge railways had already stopped traffic on the Brocken line on Wednesday afternoon.
A storm surge flooded the fish market in Hamburg’s St. Pauli district. A spokeswoman for the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) said the apex was reached early Thursday evening at 1.72 meters above the mean flood. Numerous onlookers wanted to see it. Policemen helped a girl on a parapet. The nine-year-old was still in the dry, but the water around her was up to 50 centimeters high, said a police spokesman. The officers brought the child to safety. The “Bild” newspaper had previously reported on the incident.
Storm tears off the rotor blade of a wind turbine
In Rhineland-Palatinate, too, the fire brigade and police went on many missions. “The telephones did not stand still at the police stations in the West Palatinate,” said the police headquarters in Kaiserslautern. The storm tore off a rotor blade of a wind turbine near Kastellaun, and the Mayen police reported that there was a “rubble field within a radius of about 150 meters”. In the Saarland, underpasses were flooded, in Riegelsberg the storm covered a roof. “We have big problems around Saarbrücken,” said a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn.
A cyclone caused severe damage in Schwentinental near Kiel. According to the fire department chief Kai Lässig, the cyclone left a “path of devastation” about 100 meters wide. Several houses were badly damaged, trees fell and cars were buried under them. According to his information, there were no injuries. The storm hit the town from the direction of Kiel at around 7:30 a.m. Among other things, he destroyed garden houses, winter gardens and greenhouses.
Tens of thousands affected by power outages
In Brandenburg, a regional train came to a standstill, an employee had cleared branches from the rails, the police said. The man was injured. Telephone and power lines were damaged, and the power went out in several regions of Germany. In parts of Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, a spokesman for the Mitteldeutsche Netzgesellschaft affected around 50,000 electricity customers.
In Fulda (Hesse), parasols flying around and a trampoline that was blown away triggered police operations. In many cities such as Rostock, Leipzig and Osnabrück, zoos and other facilities have been closed, partly because of the old and tall trees. Parks and gardens like in Dresden and cemeteries like in Chemnitz and Erfurt were closed for security reasons, planned burials and funeral ceremonies were canceled. In Cologne, part of the cathedral forecourt was closed. “Beware of falling rocks” read warning signs.
DWD: Wind is decreasing significantly
Excursion destinations such as the Königstein Fortress in Saxon Switzerland also closed their gates for security reasons. The Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial ended all tours after several trees had fallen and the power went out at times. Because of the storm, the Sachsenforst warned against forest walks in the coming days. “Because entering the forest during and after a storm can be life-threatening.” The storm also raged in the neighboring countries of the Czech Republic and France, causing police operations and train cancellations. Several people were injured.
In many places the storm subsided in the afternoon. The DWD expected gusts of wind on the coasts and on low mountain ranges for the night on Friday, otherwise the wind would decrease significantly. On Friday, stormy gusts or gusts of wind are to be expected again in the north and center of Germany, as well as individual thunderstorms.