Storms cause death, floods and flight delays

Storms cause death, floods and flight delays
Floods in Mühlau, Saxony. Photo: DPA
A storm ripped through North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Saxony on Thursday night causing flight delays, floods and at least one death.

In North Rhine-Westphalia a man in Geldern near Düsseldorf died when a falling branch hit his vehicle.

Frankfurt Airport was forced to close for an hour on Thursday evening. Over 2,000 passengers were accommodated in hotels after 55 take-offs and 36 landings were cancelled. Dozens of flights were delayed until after 11.00pm. Flight schedules have since returned to normal.

The storm pounded the central state of Hesse where police reported a slew of accidents on main roads. Traffic slowed to a halt on Autobahn 66 near Wiesbaden. A fire truck collided with a car while responding to a call and the vehicle's driver had to be taken to the hospital. No firefighters were injured.

Heavy rains have resulted in floods throughout the region. A subway station in Cologne was completely filled with water, and in north-west Thuringia homes were flooded. In Gießen, a bank alarm was set off by heavy flooding.

In Lower Saxony, police and fire fighters responded to over 150 calls between the hours of 7pm and 11pm on Thursday. A regional train in Ostercappeln carrying 150 passengers was halted due to the storm, and was eventually towed by a diesel train. In Bad Rothenfeld a tornado uprooted several trees.

In Saxony, police also said dozens of streets were flooded causing road accidents. 

On Friday morning the German Weather Service (DWD) issued a weather alert through to Saturday morning.

Severe thunderstorms are expected to develop throughout Friday in the west, south-west and centre of the country and will be characterized by heavy rains, strong gusts of wind and hailstones of up to two centimetres in diameter.

SEE ALSO: Storms cause €650 million of damage

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