Thunder and Lightning: Massive Storms Halt Trains in Germany
Powerful thunderstorms struck across Germany on Tuesday evening, resulting in the suspension of rail traffic on many of the country's main arterials. Additional chaos is expected, with more heavy weather on the way.
The last few weeks in Germany have been hotter than usual. So it should perhaps come as little surprise that the thunderstorms in recent days have also been more violent than normal.
Train travel proved particularly challenging in the Frankfurt region; all long-distance lines to and from the city were closed on Tuesday evening as was part of the high-speed link between Munich and Berlin. The train station at the Frankfurt airport was likewise closed due to damage inflicted to the building as a result of the storm.
The rail line between Berlin and Hamburg was likewise closed for hours after strong winds toppled several large trees onto the tracks. Tens of thousands of travellers were stranded as a result of the closures, though the Berlin-Hamburg line was reopened in the late evening, according to Deutsche Bahn. Elsewhere, however, the tracks remained blocked for much longer.
More Storms Coming
Despite the high winds and heavy rains, the Frankfurt airport was closed only briefly, for a period of 30 minutes. "That is routine for such strong storms with lightning and high winds," said an airport spokesman, according to German news agency DPA. Severe delays were largely avoided.
Berlin too saw its fair share of storm related chaos on Tuesday night. The fire department was sent out 180 times between 10 p.m. and midnight, a spokesperson told DPA. "It was a mixture of things. Flooded cellars had to be pumped, fallen trees removed and streets freed of water."
More storms are coming. The forecast for Wednesday calls for additional strong thunderstorms for much of the country.
cgh -- with wire services
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