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Winter storm freezes nation's transport

DDP/The Local · 9 Jan 2010, 13:19

Published: 09 Jan 2010 13:19 GMT+01:00

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And shortages in road salt and grit are already feared, while the authorities recommended that people consider stocking up with a few days’ worth of food.

The A5 motorway leading from Baden-Württemberg into France was closed on Friday afternoon, leading to a queue of hundreds of lorries building up, with nowhere to go. The road was opened again on Saturday morning, enabling the drivers to carefully proceed with their journeys.

Frankfurt airport was badly affected, with more than 200 flights cancelled on Saturday morning alone, and many more delayed. A plane slid off the runway at Nuremberg airport on Friday evening, causing the airport to be closed for more than two hours while the passengers were evacuated and the plane pulled out of the snow.

Snow drifts more than a metre high in places, along with strong winds and fallen trees, caused problems on the roads on the northern island of Rügen, while some areas in the Harz region saw traffic completely halted due to conditions.

The German weather service said on Saturday that a broad band of snow had fallen from Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland across to Saxony and into southern Brandenburg. The winds were not as strong as had been expected, but still reached produced strong gusts.

Snowfall should be expected to continue during Saturday afternoon and into the night, when the northern coasts should be prepared for strong winds, the weather service said. Sunday will also see continued snowfall across most of the country, only stopping on Monday. Temperatures well under freezing should be expected for at least the next few days.

The federal disaster readiness officials said in a statement people should ensure they have enough food and medicines for about four days, and that they have batteries for torches and radios in case of electricity black-outs.

Story continues below…

German nature protection group NABU has recommended that people put out food for birds as the snow and frozen ground is making it particularly difficult for them to find enough nourishment.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

00:21 January 10, 2010 by piper1
And here in Australia... Sun, Bikinis and heat you would not believe .. :-)
03:24 January 10, 2010 by Davey-jo
We (in the UK) are told Europeans cope so well with winter's snow and so forth. Is this a lie?
10:55 January 10, 2010 by nightynight
No, it's not a lie. Here in Bavaria, everything is running as normal. We have the usual amount of snow that we get every winter, grit and salt are not running out, schools are not closed etc.

Everyone gets winter tyres fitted on their cars between approx October and Easter, coats tend to be thicker than in the UK, and children have snow suits for playing in the snow, plus 3 pairs of shoes a year (summer, autumn/spring and snow boots for winter) rather than just summer / winter as in the UK.

Stuff closes here when the snow gets waist high :-)
11:09 January 10, 2010 by gkh50
Being a Brit in Munich, I decided to heed advice and got 2 bottles of red wine on Saturday instead of normal 1... phew, had a close shave.
22:27 January 11, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Munich also has a warming wind that keeps things temperate early on. But have no fear, it won't last forever, and even the true Bavarians will be putting Lange Unterhosen under their Lederhosen.
06:24 January 23, 2010 by AnikaK
Winter season is here. Safety should be followed while driving during this season. If you live anywhere in or receiving similar snowfall to the Snow Belt, you know the safety that you can get with snow tires. Well, to be fair, you DO have to know how to drive, but the greater traction and thus safety is worth a payday loans worth.
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