Killer Storm Hurricane-Force Winds Batter Germany

Several countries in Northern Europe are recovering after a powerful autumn storm swept across the region on Monday night, leaving 15 dead in its wake, including seven in Germany.


Northern Germany is cleaning up Tuesday morning after a powerful fall storm with hurricane-force winds battered the country and most of Northern Europe Monday. The storm, called "Christian" in Germany and "St. Jude" in England, left seven people dead in Germany and at least 15 across Europe.

In Germany, the storm brought winds of up to 170-kilometers-per hour, knocked down trees and disrupted air and train travel.

The trains were up and running again Tuesday morning in the German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, albeit with delays, though in other aprts of the country there was limited service.

A damaged section of the line between Marienborn and Helmstedt was repaired Monday night, allowing the routes between Dresden and Hanover and Berlin and Hanover to reopen. Commuters and travelers were told Tuesday morning to expect continued delays.

The southern part of the country was largely unscathed by the storm. But in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, more than 3,600 storm-related calls were made by emergency officials, and many schools were reportedly closed Tuesday.

Costs of Storm Damage Unclear

The storm also left many in the Baltic nations without power. In Latvia, about 100,000 households remained without power Tuesday, and in Estonia 60,000 homes were affected.

The German reinsurance company Munich Re said Tuesday that the costs of this year's first major fall storm in Northern Europe remain unclear.

Some of those who fell victim to the storm were killed on the road. A 50-year-old man was killed Monday night in a truck accident on a regional highway near Wenningstedt-Braderup on the North Frisian island of Sylt. In Denmark, a man was killed Tuesday when his car struck a downed tree near Holbæk, bringing that country's death toll from the storm to two.

Heavy wind gusts Monday afternoon caused the bridge between Sweden and Denmark to close, and there was extensive damage throughout Sweden, with reports of roofs being blown off buildings and over-turned trucks blocking roads.

In Britain, it was one of the worst storms since the "Great Storm" of October 1987, which caused widespread damage throughout the country. This week's storm initially left 562,000 properties in the country without power, according to UK Power Networks. By early Tuesday morning about 57,600 remained cut off.

-- mbw with wires.


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