• Germany's news in English

Northern Germany battles winter chaos

AFP/DDP/DPA/The Local · 11 Jan 2010, 11:36

Published: 11 Jan 2010 09:59 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Jan 2010 11:36 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The weather, blamed on a low pressure system "Daisy," unleashed a blizzard across the north that left motorways, roads and some railways impassable. Hundreds found themselves stuck in their cars and trucks in snow, or in trains overnight, authorities said.

School was cancelled for Monday in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, while snowdrifts up to two metres (six feet) high meant many villages were "left to their own devices," police said.

Click here for The Local's photo gallery of the winter storm.

Otto-Uwe Schmiedt, the mayor of the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn, said “good catastrophe management” had averted a potentially disastrous situation after a dyke was damaged by high winds and a storm surge.

“Things still aren’t back to normal,” he said.

He said many of the island’s roads were “almost toboggan runs” even though the authorities had spent around €250,000 working around the clock to keep them clear. “Since Friday cleaning crews have used 15,000 litres of diesel fuel overall,” he said.

Rail traffic on the Stralsund-Greifswald-Pasewalk, Neubrandenburg-Güstrow and Karlsburg-Züssow lines remained closed on Monday while the InterCity connection between Berlin and Stralsund was subject to major rerouting and delays. Trains in the state of Schleswig-Holstein were running, but were also experiencing delays.

The A20 motorway between Gützkow and Greifswald was still closed on Monday morning.

Story continues below…

All of Germany was blanketed with snow on Sunday, whipped up in some places by strong winds. Leipzig in the east shivered under 29 centimetres (11 inches) of snow, Berlin had 27 centimetres and Hamburg in the northwest 12 centimetres. Dozens of villages in the rural state of Schleswig-Holstein and on the Baltic Sea islands were completely cut off, while more than 1,000 car accidents were reported across in recent days, several of them fatal.

Air travel was hit as well, with nearly 100 flights cancelled Sunday at Frankfurt airport, Europe's third busiest, after 255 flights were scrapped on Saturday.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast.

Related links:

AFP/DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:29 January 15, 2010 by Cincinnatus
Thank goodness the Chokenchangen conference has cleared up the problem of global warming, otherwise, Northern Germany would be suffering under a lethal hat wave, while the people deal with severe sunburn.
Today's headlines
Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd