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Roads, railways and homes flooded as heavy rain hits Germany

Torrential rain mixed with strong winds is causing major problems in southern and western Germany.

Roads, railways and homes flooded as heavy rain hits Germany
Water floods the village of Aach in Rhineland-Palatinate on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

In Bavaria, hurricane-like gusts and heavy continuous rain are disrupting the public transport system.

Munich's S-Bahn services on lines S1 and S2 were partially closed on Tuesday morning due to trees falling onto the overhead lines, a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn said.

West of Augsburg, two rivers burst their banks and flooded streets. According to police, seven people have been injured in the stormy weather since Monday lunchtime.

The German Weather Service (DWD) had issued severe weather warnings for southern parts of Germany on Monday night.

Rescue operations

Heavy rain has also triggered numerous rescue operations in the south-west of the country.

The town centre of the community of Aach near Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, was flooded during the night.

In the Oberemmel district of Konzer a river overflowed its banks, which resulted in people becoming trapped in their homes due to the build up of water. The fire and rescue service managed to free the affected residents in the middle of the night.

In several places across the district, emergency services had to shut off flooded roads. A total of 440 forces were deployed. Meanwhile, the railway line between Perl and Trier was closed on Tuesday morning.

READ ALSO: Fact check – is winter actually coming to Germany this year?

Deutsche Bahn issued a tweet urging customers to check for delays and cancellations due to the stormy weather.


Heavy rain in Munich on Tuesday morning. Photo: DPA

After heavy rainfall, water levels along the Moselle river are rising sharply. Early on Tuesday morning, the water level in Trier was over 8.40 meters according to the Flood Reporting Centre, and it was still rising. The normal water level is about 3.25 meters.

It's due to heavy rainfall coming from the Vosges mountains in France, where the Moselle river begins. The Moselle flows into the Rhine near Koblenz.

In Saarbrücken, the capital of Saarland, police closed the city highway early this morning.

Fallen trees in Baden-Württemberg

Hurricane-like gusts and heavy continuous rain also led to numerous police and fire department operations in parts of Baden-Württemberg.

In Stetten am kalten Markt near Sigmaringen, a tree fell on an apartment building, punctured the roof and damaged three cars. According to police, the damage amounts to around €60,000. No injuries have been reported.

Fire and rescue services as well as police were called out to operations in Freiburg and the surrounding area dozens of times. 

On Tuesday police tweeted: “The storm is keeping emergency services on tenterhooks. Throughout the area, fallen trees are causing danger in road traffic – we ask for special caution and consideration. Please avoid the dams of major rivers in our area.”

READ ALSO: Nine ways to get through winter the German way

Rain to continue

In the Waldshut district in the south of the state, the emergency services were also busy. Strong winds damaged houses and toppled trees as well as fences. 

Police in Karlsruhe reported that trees had fallen, while smaller streets and cellars were flooded. In Stuttgart, a tree fell on a car. According to police, there have been no injuries.

Until at least Tuesday lunchtime, the DWD expected heavy continuous rain in the region. In the Black Forest, around 120 liters per square meter and 150 liters in congested areas is said to have fallen within 72 hours.

The DWD also warned against stormy gusts with speeds between 50 and 70 kilometres per hour.

There's also been some snow.


Snow in Thuringia on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

In the Ore Mountains and the Thuringian Forest area, snow fell during the night. In mountainous regions in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, the snow is also expected to stay on the ground, according to the DWD.

“Care is also required on the roads there,” said the DWD.

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WEATHER

Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After days of summery weather, temperatures in Germany are set to peak at around 30C this week before a cooler spell over the weekend.

Germany set for scorching temperatures up to 30C

After a long spell of sunny weather, most parts of Germany could see summer arrive early this week with clear blue skies and sweltering temperatures – but the hot weather may not last long, according to meteorologists.

Heat and sunshine should last through the middle of the week but suddenly give way to cooler temperatures over the weekend, the German Weather Service (DWD) predicts.

On Tuesday, most regions see temperatures in the mid to high 20s and a continuation of the dry weather of the past week. In the northeast, including Berlin, the mercury could reach 28C, and temperatures are likely to be between 22C and 28C across western and central areas.

Those in higher altitude regions of the south and those along the north coast should be the only people needing their rain jackets as this part of the country could see scattered showers and clouds, according to DWD.

Wednesday is the day to plan a lake trip as this is likely to be the hottest day of the week. 

Most parts of the country will stay sunny and dry throughout the day and people can expect summery temperatures of between 24C and 30C.

For those on the north coast, it’s likely to be a little chillier, with temperatures of around 15C and partly overcast skies.

Thursday and Friday are likely to bring with them cooler temperatures, with the hot spell giving way to scattered showers and clouds in many regions over the weekend.

On Saturday, southern regions will see highs up of up to 23C while the northern regions will slip down to 18C during the day.

But anyone planning to be out and about on Saturday evening in the south should bring a warm jacket as the mercury could drop as low as 4C. 

Sunny weather Standbad Lübars

A woman enjoys the warm weather at Standbad Lübars in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Britta Pedersen

Northern regions ‘too dry’ 

Though most people have been thrilled to see a warm burst of sunshine in the middle of spring, climate experts have been voicing concern about the uneven rainfall across the country.

In an analysis published on the DWD website, the meteorologists claimed that the northern and eastern parts of Germany have been “clearly too dry” in the past weeks.

“A first glance at the current map already reveals that the regional differences of April have continued in May,” they wrote. “In almost all regions of the northern half and in some parts of the centre, hardly more than 10 and in many places not even 5 litres of rain per square-metre fell in the first days of May.”

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

Though experts had predicted low rainfall, the first 10 days of May have been even drier than predicted.

The lack of rainfall has caused groundwater to dry up significantly, sparking fears of forest fires and drought over summer.

Though more rainfall could come at the end of May, the Weather Channel’s Jan Schenk believes the probability of an overly dry summer is now “very high”.

Schenk believes that predictions for rainfall could have overestimated the amount of precipitation by up to 50 litres per square metre in some areas. This is a reason for households to start saving water now, he told HNA

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