Storm Egon leaves two dead, thousands without power

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Storm Egon leaves two dead, thousands without power
A truck driver braves the snow storm in Saxony to go to a driver with a broken down vehicle. Photo: DPA.

Storm "Egon" swept across Germany on Friday with hurricane-force winds and snow, leaving at least two drivers dead, thousands without power and more than 100 flights cancelled.



  • Egon is blowing over Germany from the west and brought hurricane-force winds to Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate.

  • By Friday morning, Egon had already covered parts of Germany in snow, uprooted trees and shut down streets.

  • The German Weather Service (DWD) says that certain areas may get up to 30cm of snow within hours.

  • Frankfurt, Leipzig, and Dresden airports have cancelled flights.

  • One driver died in an accident, likely due to slippery roads, in Schleswig-Holstein. Another driver was also reported as killed in a weather-related accident in Hesse.

End of live blog, 5.20pm: The Local followed the damage caused by the storm throughout Friday, but now it's time to wrap up the live blog as we head into the weekend.

Dozens have been injured in weather-related accidents - at least two of which were deadly - and neither weather nor rail services have yet given the all-clear about stormy conditions.

Thousands in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria were left without power, while children in various parts of the country were unable to make it to school.

Frankfurt Airport cancelled 125 flights, while Dresden and Leipzig airports also had some cancellations.

Click here to see more photos of the damage throughout the day.

Looking to the weekend, the DWD expects more snow in many areas, especially in mountainous regions like the Alps. And drivers are warned to be cautious of black ice on roadways.

Here's a look at the Saturday forecast below, and stay safe!

Another fatality reported, 3.20pm: Near Fulda in Hesse, a 21-year-old driver was killed when he tried to overtake another driver on a "glass-like" roadway, according to His car started to swerve and he hit another oncoming vehicle. The 70-year-old woman in the other car was lightly injured.

No 'all-clear' for train travellers yet, 3.15pm: In various parts of the country, train travel has been delayed due trees falling onto tracks and other obstructions caused by the storm. A railway spokesperson told Bild newspaper at about 3.15pm that they could not yet give travellers the all-clear.

"Our colleagues are working at full speed to retrieve fallen trees from platforms, repair overhead wires, and make the routes drivable again," the spokesperson said.

"We cannot completely give the all-clear to passengers because the snow front is still underway."

2.15pm: The roofs of some houses have been damaged in the storm, including the one pictured below in Hanau, Hesse.


And the one below in Stuttgart.


Snowplow drivers battle Egon, 1.30pm: Snowplow driver Uwe Deppe in Lower Saxony tells DPA about his determination to make driving easier amid storm Egon.

"I get every street clear," Deppe said. "At the end, we always win the battle against snow and ice."

So far the 60-year-old has been working through the night, and by mid-day there appeared to be no end in sight. Deppe has already driven 400 kilometres on the 10-kilometre stretch he's been clearing between Bad Harzburg and Torfhaus.

"We will drive until the street is black again."

Uwe Deppe. Photo: DPA.

12.20pm: A driver along the Autobahn 7 in northern Schleswig-Holstein died in an accident, most likely due to slippery roads, police said.

Numerous streets in Bavaria and the Thuringian Forest area were blocked by fallen trees or trucks that were stuck. According to Thuringia officials, these obstacles also meant that schools buses could not bring children to school.

"The situation is chaotic," said a spokesman from the area of Schmalkalden-Meiningen.

In the Bavarian town of Kirchenthumbach, one school bus was blown by a gust of wind into a roadside ditch, but no one was injured.

12.00pm: Leipzig-Halle and Dresden airports said they had to cancel flights after Frankfurt airport announced the cancellation of 125 flights. Lufthansa flights to Frankfurt had been cancelled from Leipzig, and another flight from Dresden to Frankfurt was also cancelled.

Frankfurt-Hahn airport also reported delays.

An airplane at Frankfurt-Hahn airport. Photo: DPA.

As of about noon on Friday, 6,600 households in Upper Franconia, Bavaria were left without power.

In Baumholder, Rhineland-Palatinate, US military personnel of the Army Garrison in the area were given early release due to the storm.

11.55am: Skiers in the Bavarian Alps were left in the lurch as well due to Egon as ski lifts and mountain cable cars have been completely or partially suspended in some areas, reports local broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk.

The railway and chair lift going up the Zugspitze - Germany's highest mountain - were almost completely suspended, and ski operations have been halted.

11.30am: The DWD posted an image on Twitter showing where German residents can expect to experience the fiercest weather conditions. The more red area means "high risk of bad weather", while the orange area means "bad weather risk".

The high risk areas could have 10-20cm of snow and in mountainous areas this could be up to 30cm. The orange areas meanwhile are predicted to get 5-10cm of snow.

11.20am: The major air hub of Frankfurt Airport has had to cancel 125 out of 1,100 flights due to the storm, a spokesperson said. Due to the cancellations, further delays should be expected during the day.

"The storm is so strong that airplane operations must be temporarily halted," said the airport spokesperson.

In Bavarian Lower Franconia, several school buses could not bring children to school due to the severe weather. Most children were brought to nearby schools instead.

10.30am: The strong winds of Egon have uprooted trees and caused power outages as well as traffic delays in western states like Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate.

A traffic jam in Gummersbach, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA. 

“Since midnight we have had massive problems because of the storm,” said a spokesman from the city of Saarbrücken.

Atop the 554-metre high Weinbiet hill in Rhineland-Palatinate, the wind was measured at speeds of up to 148km/h.

The central state of Hesse has also been hit by the storm with at least 50 emergency operations by 10.30am due to overturned trees and other objects on roadways, a police spokesman for southern Hesse said.

A tree fallen on top of a car in Wiesbaden, Hesse. Photo: DPA.

Egon brought snow to Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. A stretch of the Autobahn 30 had to be blocked off after a truck overturned due to the snow. The rescue effort lasted until 9am and no one was injured.

The German Weather Service said areas of between 400 and 600 metres high could get up to 30cm of new snow within six hours.

By Friday mid-day, Egon should be heading to Poland.

DWD said that North Rhine-Westphalia and northern Saxony-Anhalt could have massive traffic problems, while in central, southern and northern coastal areas, there could be hurricane-force winds of up to 110 km/h.

A snow-clearing vehicle in Bavaria. Photo: DPA.


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