SHARE
COPY LINK

WEATHER

Damaged homes and flooded streets after thunderstorms sweep across Germany

After heavy storms hit regions of the country on Thursday, the fire services responded to some 2,000 emergencies, ranging from streets filled with water to flooded basements.

Damaged homes and flooded streets after thunderstorms sweep across Germany
One of the houses near Hamburg that had to be evacuated with a car sunken into the ground beside it. Photo: DPA

Just as German meteorologists predicted, heavy rain, wind and hail hit much of the country on the public holiday. Though no injuries were reported due to the weather, northern Germany was particularly hard hit by the storms.

Fire brigades in the north of the country had their work cut out, responding to close to 2,000 calls mainly in Schleswig-Holstein and in the Hamburg area.

On Friday morning in Oststeinbek, a municipality east of Hamburg, cellars full of water were still being pumped. Oststeinbek’s historic water mill was also washed out. A few houses had to be evacuated in the vicinity and some of the house’s walls had even collapsed. In neighbouring Havighorst, an underground car park was flooded in up to three metres of water.

Havighorst, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: DPA

Emergency services in the state of Hesse also had their hands full on Friday morning. In villages around Fulda, several streets were flooded with water due to the storms. Numerous homes saw their basements flooded too. Police moreover reported that fuel oil had leaked into some houses.

In Thuringia, flooding in cellars – particularly in the southern town of Schönbrunn – has caused an estimated €60,000 in damages.

There were also floods in Goslar in the Harz region of Lower Saxony.

Meanwhile residents of parts of southern Germany had to deal with a downpour of hail rather than rain. In the Bavarian city of Schweinfurt, residents had to get their shovels out due to a thick layer of hail which covered some roads. A hail storm hit the area on Thursday between 4 pm and 5 pm.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

WEATHER

‘Heat February’ likely to follow Germany’s warmest January on record so far

After seeing the hottest January so far since records began, meteorologists in Germany are now predicting a warmer-than-usual February, which could bring about problems for winter sports resorts.

‘Heat February’ likely to follow Germany’s warmest January on record so far

Germany is getting hotter. Every decade since the sixties has been warmer than the previous one and the pace is continuing to increase, the German Weather Service (DWD) said in its final climate assessment for the past year released on Monday.

“We are now experiencing hot spells and intensities that we would actually not have expected from climate models for a few decades,” said Andreas Becker, head of the DWD’s climate monitoring department.

READ ALSO: More floods, droughts and heatwaves: How climate change will impact Germany

“Since the year 1881, we now have an increase in the annual mean temperature in Germany of 1.7 C,” Becker said. He added that this increase can only be explained by man-made climate change.

The first half of January – usually considered to be the height of winter – was warmer than ever before this year, at 8.2 C above average. 

But while temperatures are expected to sink and bring some frost and snowfall later this week, meteorologist Dominik Jung from wetter.net, has said that there is no real prospect of a severe cold spell or a deep onset of winter. Meteorologist Alban Burster from wetter.com, meanwhile, said that he expects January to remain mainly foggy and wet.

Looking ahead to February, it seems likely that there will be no change in the warming trend. Meteorologist Jung said that he expects the second month of 2023 to be “almost a kind of ‘heat’ February” – at an average of two to three degrees warmer than the climate average.

Good news for some

For the winter sports season, the warm temperatures are  “a disaster”, Jung said.

READ ALSO: How heatwaves in Germany have led to thousands of deaths

The meagre snowfall is bad news for sports enthusiasts and ski lift operators, many of which have had to resort to using artificial snow – at a significant cost. 

However, for those hoping to save on their home heating bills, the warm winter months, for now, are good news. 

SHOW COMMENTS