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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Public warned as Storm Antonia lashes Germany

Wind gusts exceeding 100 km/h have injured motorists, toppled trees, and disrupted train travel around Germany.

Public warned as Storm Antonia lashes Germany

Storm Antonia—the third severe storm to hit Germany since Thursday, swept through the country with winds of up to 100 km/h in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, and even recorded hurricane force winds of 149 km/h on the Feldberg mountain peak in the Black Forest.

Two drivers in Lower Saxony were injured when their cars crashed into a tree that Antonia had blown over.

Both drivers had to be taken to nearby hospitals in the Osnabrück district, according to a police spokesperson. The storm also overturned a truck on Schleswig-Holstein’s Fehmarnsund Bridge, closing the roadway to the nearby island in both directions. In the meantime, Antonia also flooded parts of Hamburg’s Altona district.

Antonia also damaged cars and destroyed roofs in North-Rhine Westphalia. Fire crews in Herdecke, just south of Dortmund, reported that a roof of one apartment building flew off and landed on another building, massively damaging it, although no injuries were reported.

200 metres of a bus overhead line in Solingen were also completely ripped out after a tree fell on the line.

German state rail company Deutsche Bahn is also warning travellers to expect both delays and cancellations on Monday after storm damage made more than 6,000 kilometres of rail track impassable.

Long distance trains originating in the northeastern cities of Rostock and Stralsund saw their services to both Hamburg and Berlin cancelled.

Further cancellations were seen on routes between Emden and Cologne and operations between Siegen and Dortmund. Regional rail service in North-Rhine Westphalia was halted as a precautionary measure on Sunday evening, but are set to resume normal operations Monday.

Replacement bus services on rail lines operated by Metronom in Lower Saxony, Hamburg, and Bremen are expected to be in place until Monday afternoon, with rail restrictions in Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland expected to last through much of Monday.

Following disrupted train services, some lessons in the Lower Franconian district of Miltenberg were cancelled for Monday.

Antonia is the third severe storm to hit Germany since Thursday and some damage still remains from previous storms Ylenia and Zeynep.

At least six people died in those two storms, with insurance claims expected to be in the billions.

Meteorologists with the German Weather Service (DWD) say high winds will remain an issue in Germany this week, but will be weaker.


Hurricane – (der) Orkan  

Storm – (der) Sturm 

Storm damage – (die) Unwetterschäden