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Storm “Zoltan” hits Germany with full force

Storm “Zoltan” hits Germany with full force

As of: December 22, 2023 at 6:04 AM

Shortly before Christmas, a severe storm struck Germany. In the north, there are major problems with rail traffic, ferries have been canceled and Christmas markets remain closed. There are storm warnings on the coast.

The violent storm “Zoltan” passed over Germany and left behind a lot of damage.

There is a risk of flooding on the German North Sea coast and Hamburg on Friday. In the Elbe district of Hamburg, police warned of a severe storm in the morning. According to the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), the water level will then rise to about 3 meters above average water height. According to police, the affected area should be avoided. According to the information, the flood peak is expected to reach around 11 am at the St. Pauli gauge with a height of up to 3.05 meters above the average flood level.

Experts from BSH also forecast severe storms on Friday on the East Frisian coast and the Weser region. Floodwater levels there are expected to rise 2.5 meters to 3 meters above average in the morning and afternoon. On the North Frisian coast, water levels are expected to range between 2 and 2.5 meters above average water level. A storm surge is considered severe if the water level is 2.5 meters above the average water height.

The Cologne area was severely affected

The Böll district of Cologne was also severely affected by the storm in the evening. Many buildings and infrastructure there were affected. The storm that struck during the day caused severe damage to the roofs of many homes. Roof tiles fell and covered entire sections of roofs. Even the photovoltaic system was completely demolished. Debris of damaged buildings were scattered in the streets. Many streets were particularly badly affected and were literally destroyed by the storm. About 30 buildings recorded damage to varying degrees.

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The damage to the warehouse, which was partially completely covered, is particularly serious. Debris fell on the road and fell on the railway bridge and overhead lines, causing disruption to railway traffic. During the night, Deutsche Bahn technical services began repairing the damage to the overhead lines.

Two people were injured in Saxony-Anhalt

In the state of Saxony-Anhalt, many trees fell during the night due to the stormy weather, and branches and traffic lights were cut off. In Salzwedel and Gommern (Jershor Land region), two people were slightly injured, Stendhal police announced this morning.

According to police, a pickup truck in Salzwedel ran off the road due to strong winds and a tree fell on a car in Gommern. In the Harz region, between misery and anxiety, according to the Magdeburg police, the B242 road is closed until December 26 as a precaution due to the risk of damage from the storms.

Rail traffic was affected

As expected, rail traffic was severely affected by the storm on Thursday. There were numerous cancellations and delays on regional and long-distance transportation due to storm damage. A railway spokesman said in the evening: “In some cases, the damage can only be definitively assessed at daylight.”

Railways in the north are particularly affected. According to preliminary information, long-distance trains between Hamburg/Hannover and Kassel and Frankfurt/Stuttgart/Basel as well as Würzburg and Munich are canceled today. There are isolated delays and cancellations between Berlin/Leipzig/Erfurt and Frankfurt. ICE and IC trains between Cologne and Kassel will also be canceled for the time being. According to information from Friday, no ICE and IC trains will stop at Marienhavi, Norden, Norddeitch and Norddeich Mall. European Commission train lines in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein were also affected.

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There were also weather-related delays and cancellations on regional transportation on Thursday, which continued into the night. Near Hamburg, traffic stopped on some roads.

Christmas markets It remained closed

The tornado-like storms not only toppled trees on the trails but also on the roads. Christmas markets remained closed or closed earlier and ferries – such as flights between Rostock and Gedser in Denmark – were cancelled. In addition, the Vihmarsund Bridge in Schleswig-Holstein had to be completely closed, according to police.

The Lower Saxony state office for water management, coastal conservation and nature (NLWKN) has issued a flood warning for the entire state. In many places, the first rivers overflow their banks, submerging forests and agricultural areas.

All of Germany was affected

In exposed locations on Helgoland and the North Sea coast as well as Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea, the German Meteorological Service (DWD) warned in the evening. Wind force is not excluded at levels 11 and 12. I wrote the service on