Storms chaos hits North Rhine-Westphalia

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19 Aug, 2011 Updated Fri 19 Aug 2011 10:09 CEST
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Violent storms felled trees and flooded roads and basements throughout North Rhine-Westphalia, leaving emergency responders struggling to make it to all the calls for service.


In the town of Voerde near Duisburg, a tree struck by lightning caught fire and crashed into a house, causing at least €100,000 of damage. In Bottrop, an empty barn was hit by lightning and burned to the ground.

Although no injuries were reported, police and fire departments in Dortmund, Essen and Bochum were called out more than 300 times on Thursday night and into Friday morning.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast.

At Düsseldorf’s airport, there were multiple weather-related delays of over an hour while six incoming planes had to be diverted to airports in Frankfurt and Cologne.

Sections of motorways between Aachen and Wuppertal as well as Essen and Düsseldorf were closed temporarily due to flooding.

Meteorologists said at least 6,000 bolts of lightening had been recorded overnight, with one expert speaking of “really severe thunderstorms.”

Things seem largely to have blown over by late in the morning Friday. The storms had mostly dissipated although rain showers remained.

The forecast for the rest of day was for scattered showers with clearing in the evening.

Partly sunny weather with brief smatterings of rain was expected for the entire country over most of the weekend, with a possibility of cloud by Sunday afternoon.

Some thunderstorms, however, will return to the NRW by Tuesday, while much of southern Germany will experience rain showers.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/mdm



2011/08/19 10:09

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