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Wintry conditions wreak road havoc

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Photo: DPA
07:51 CET+01:00
Snow, icy roads, gusty winds and fallen trees wreaked havoc with early commuter traffic in a wide swathe of Germany on Friday morning, as a winter storm continued to roll across the country.

People struggled to get to work across Bavaria to Saxony, with many roads closed in the Oberpfalz and Erzgebirge regions, according to the police.

Meteorologists warned that central Germany could experience continued high winds and heavy snowfall over the course of the day.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast

The A72 motorway in Saxony saw traffic jams of up to 30 kilometres overnight following several accidents. Police in the southwestern part of the state received 327 emergency calls following 118 crashes, leaving nine people injured. Many roads in the region were strewn with fallen trees and abandoned vehicles.

In the Oberpfalz in Bavaria, the authorities warned people to avoid minor roads on Friday morning. State road 2121 in Tirschenreuth and county road Weiden 29 remained closed.

In neighbouring Thuringia, the Saalfeld area was hardest hit by the winter storm, but the police said traffic appeared to be coping. “Drivers have prepared themselves for the situation,” said a spokesman, adding that all cars should have winter tyres.

Click here to see a gallery of the snowy onslaught

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Whereas mountainous parts of Saxony and Thuringia are likely to see more snow on Friday, large parts of eastern Germany will stay soggy with continuous rain. However, as temperatures drop overnight, roads could become treacherously icy.

DAPD/The Local/mry

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