Hurricane-force storm leaves trail of destruction across north Germany

The storm known in Germany as Zeynep swept over the northern half of the country early on Saturday morning, bringing with it flooding and hurricane force winds.

Hurricane-force storm leaves trail of destruction across north Germany
Storm Zeynep left a trail of destruction in its wake, as seen in Stralsund. Photo: dpa | Stefan Sauer

The German Weather Service declared on Saturday morning that its extreme weather warning was over, as the storm moved on towards Russia.

But in its path it left serious disruption and at least two fatalities.

In Hamburg, where lower-lying parts of the city are regularly flooded during storms, authorities measured the highest water level in close to a decade.

At the water gauge in St Pauli the tide rose to 3.75 metres above the average high tide mark on Saturday morning.

The famed Speicherstadt district of Hamburg was flooded and two men who had been trapped there had to be rescued and taken to hospital.

The strongest blast of wind measured during the storm was a 143 km/h gust in the coastal town of Büsum on the North Sea.

Police confirmed victims of the storm in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.

In Lower Saxony, a man fell from the roof of a barn during the storm and died. The 68-year-old was trying to repair the damaged roof on Saturday night, police said. But he broke through the roof and fell around ten meters.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, a motorist died on Friday evening near Altenbergewhen when he crashed his car into a tree that had fallen across the road. The 56-year-old died at the scene of the accident.

In Bremen, a 55-meter crane collapsed onto an office building that was under construction. “It looks devastating,” a fire department spokesman said.

A truck that was passing by was also hit by the crane but the driver escaped uninjured.

Rail traffic in northern Germany and northern parts of North Rhine-Westphalia was still severely restricted on Saturday morning, according to Deutsche Bahn.

Long distance rail in most of the north of the country was still on hold on Saturday morning.

Member comments

  1. The storm was very bad it caused widespread outages in The UK and Ireland and plenty of fallen trees.

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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