Northern Germany hit with flooding after storm

A clean-up is underway on Thursday after severe storms in the northern part of the country.

Northern Germany hit with flooding after storm
A man wading through the flooding in Lübeck. Photo: DPA

Water levels rose significantly in coastal areas of Germany due to storms and severe rain on Wednesday.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, flooding reached its peak on Wednesday evening. It brought water levels to almost 1.40 metres above normal, said meteorologist Stefan Kreibohm from the weather station at Hiddensee.

In Schleswig-Holstein, the Trave river in Lübeck and the district of Travemünde rose to around 6.26 metres. This resulted in flooding at the Obertrave in the old town of Lübeck and parts of the promenade in Travemünde. According to the Waterways and Shipping Office, the normal water level is five metres.

After the flood, the focus is now on the damage: the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald was particularly affected in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. On Wednesday, alarm stage 2 was triggered there due to rising water levels.

READ ALSO: 'Last days to enjoy the sun': Temperatures in Germany to dip as summer ends

In the second of four alarm stages, the dams were to be checked for damage and, if necessary, sealed with sandbags, the State Office for Agriculture and the Environment (StALU) said.

'Trees blown onto roads'

The storm also knocked down several trees and branches throughout the district.

Firefighters had to remove the debris from roads and railways. The rescue control centre reported more than 60 such operations in the region by the afternoon. According to police reports, trees had fallen onto two cars in the Stralsund area.

This tweet by the German Weather Service shows there was lots of rain across Germany on Wednesday.

In Rostock-Warnemünde water spilled over onto the pier. Beach chairs were left floating in the water and had to be salvaged.

The storm washed sand from the beaches into the sea. According to media reports, Lubmin's mayor Axel Vogt expects there has been flood damage to the newly raised beach in Meckenburg-Western Pomerania.

Flooding in Lübeck. Photo: DPA

'Water levels slowing falling'

The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) extended the storm surge warning in the Baltic Sea area until Thursday. According to the warning, water levels of up to 1.15 metres above average sea level were still to be expected on almost the entire German Baltic coast.

However, it is improving. “The water levels along the coast are slowly falling,” the agency said, however.

Many shipping companies stopped their ferry operations on Wednesday. The shipping company FRS Baltic, which operates the Swedish fast ferry between Sassnitz-Mukran and Ystad, also cancelled departures for Thursday.

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What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

Parts of Germany will see another heatwave this week as temperatures soar.

What temperatures can we expect in Germany this week?

The German Weather Service (DWD) has predicted that the mercury will climb in some regions of to around 34C this week. 

“After low pressure ‘Karin’ gave parts of Germany rain, sometimes in large quantities, high pressure ‘Piet’ is now back in pole position,” said meteorologist Lars Kirchhübel of the DWD.

This high pressure zone will dominate the weather in large parts of western and central Europe over the coming days, the weather expert said, adding that it will reach Germany too. 

On Monday temperatures remained fairly cool across the country after a weekend of showers, but they are set to climb over the course of the week, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday. Forecasters predict it could reach 32C in Stuttgart and 33C in Cologne on Thursday. Locally, temperatures could reach 34C. 

However, from the Oder and Neisse rivers to the Erzgebirge mountains and southeast Bavaria, denser clouds and some showers are to be expected. This is due to a high-level low pressure system over the Balkan region, according to forecasters. Short showers are also possible in the Black Forest.

“In most of the rest of the country, high ‘Piet’ will be able to hold its ground,” said Kirchhübel.

READ ALSO: Heavy rain in Bavaria swells rivers, but flooding avoided

At the end of the week, thunderstorms are forecast but temperatures are expected to remain high. 

August in Germany ‘too dry’

According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, August as a whole – apart from a few areas in eastern Germany – will be too dry compared to the multi-year average.

The Black Forest, the High Rhine and the Allgäu to the Bavarian Forest, however, are not expected to have any major problems due to the high rainfall of the past few days.

“Looking at Rhineland-Palatinate, the southern half of Hesse, the western half of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Franconia shows a different picture,” said Kirchhübel. In the last 30 days, only about 10 percent of the usual level of precipitation fell in some places.

“At some stations, no precipitation at all has been measured in August,” added Kirchhübel, referencing Würzburg as an example.

Rainfall at the weekend caused the water in the Rhine river to rise slightly. In Emmerich, the water level reached a positive value again after the historic low of the past few days: in the morning, it showed three centimetres – an increase of six centimetres compared to the previous day.

The water level also rose by several centimetres at the other measuring points in North Rhine-Westphalia: in Cologne, the level rose to 80cm and in Düsseldorf to 38cm.

READ ALSO: Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

Despite this encouraging trend, the Waterways and Shipping Authority said it did not expect a huge improvement in water levels in the foreseeable future due to more hot weather coming.