IN PICTURES: Storms and floods strike across western Germany

DPA/The Local
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IN PICTURES: Storms and floods strike across western Germany
Ein Feuerwehrmann geht über eine überflutete Straße. Starkregen und Gewitter haben in Teilen von Nordrhein-Westfalen zu zahlreichen wetterbedingten Einsätzen der Feuerwehr und Polizei geführt. +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Firefighters and police were called out numerous times on Thursday evening as thunderstorms brought traffic to a standstill, overturned trees and flooded cellars.


Extreme weather struck the western and central German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hessen on Thursday evening, with thunder, torrential downpour and hailstones wreaking havoc in the region. 


The German Weather Service (DWD) urged residents of those areas to stay "vigilant" as they warned of oncoming thunderstorms, hail and downpour on Twitter on Thursday. 

As thunderstorms picked up throughout the evening, firefighters were called out to deal with numerous incidents of falling trees, flooded streets and waterlogged cellars. In the town of Bottrop, North Rhine-Westphalia, a fir tree was struck by lightening and burst into flames - but the fire was quickly extinguished by the heavy rains, local residents and firefighters. 
Meanwhile, in the municipality of Laer near Münster, police reported that an overflowing brook had caused both streets and cellars to flood. 
In other parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, the gales were so strong they overturned trees. In the city of Braubach, a parked car was buried under fallen branches during the thunderstorm, causing firefighters to be called out to the scene.
Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey
The Ruhr area was also struck by heavy rainfall and thunder. In Essen, firefighters and police officers were called out as taxis and other drivers became stranded in flooded streets and manhole covers burst open. 
Photo: picture alliance/dpa/TNN | Markus Gayk
A section of the B42 motorway, which runs between Bonn and Darmstadt, also had to be cordoned off due to a fallen tree. On another part of the motorway, firefighters were called out to deal with a landslide caused by the storms. 
Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey
Hailstorms accompanied the heavy winds and thunder, with hailstones as large as two centimetres wide.
Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey
Across the region, residents complained of their cellars being flooded as the rain continued well into the night, finally tapering off around 4am.
Photo: picture alliance/dpa/TNN | Markus Gayk
In total, police and emergency services were called out to around 50 weather-related incidents in North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday night. In Hesse, firefighters had to deal with around 70 weather incidents throughout the evening and into the night.

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey

While residents of Hessen, Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia battled against thunderstorms and gale-force winds, other parts of Germany enjoyed clear skies and summery temperatures. In the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, temperatures hit highs of around 28C on Thursday, while in Berlin and Brandenburg, they peaked at around 27C around midday. 

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Schmidt

Will the storms stretch into Friday?

According to the DWD, another bout of stormy weather looks set to strike across western and central Germany on Friday evening, as heavy rain, hail and heavy gusts are expected to hit North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and parts of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

There also looks set to be further floods on the horizon in these areas as DWD expects rainfall of up to 60 litres per square metre, gusts of wind at speeds of 85 kilometres an hour, and potential thunderstorms. 


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Anonymous 2021/06/04 13:50
A Moderator needs to check the above. I tried to report but it is not working
  • Anonymous 2021/06/04 14:38
    Thanks for flagging Richard. We've removed the comment.

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