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LIVE: Storm Egon leaves one dead, thousands without power

SUMMARY:

  • Egon is blowing over Germany from the west and brought hurricane-force winds to Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate

  • By Friday morning, Egon had already covered parts of Germany in snow, uprooted trees and shut down streets

  • The German Weather Service (DWD) says that certain areas may get up to 30cm of snow within hours

  • Frankfurt, Leipzig, and Dresden airports have cancelled flights.

12.20pm: A driver along the Autobahn 7 in northern Schleswig-Holstein died in an accident, most likely due to slippery roads, police said.

Numerous streets in Bavaria and the Thuringian Forest area were blocked by fallen trees or trucks that were stuck. According to Thuringia officials, these obstacles also meant that schools buses could not bring children to school.

“The situation is chaotic,” said a spokesman from the area of Schmalkalden-Meiningen.

In the Bavarian town of Kirchenthumbach, one school bus was blown by a gust of wind into a roadside ditch, but no one was injured.

12.00pm: Leipzig-Halle and Dresden airports said they had to cancel flights after Frankfurt airport announced the cancellation of 125 flights. Lufthansa flights to Frankfurt had been cancelled from Leipzig, and another flight from Dresden to Frankfurt was also cancelled.

Frankfurt-Hahn airport also reported delays.

An airplane at Frankfurt-Hahn airport. Photo: DPA.

As of about noon on Friday, 6,600 households in Upper Franconia, Bavaria were left without power.

In Baumholder, Rhineland-Palatinate, US military personnel of the Army Garrison in the area were given early release due to the storm.

11.55am: Skiers in the Bavarian Alps were left in the lurch as well due to Egon as ski lifts and mountain cable cars have been completely or partially suspended in some areas, reports local broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk.

11.30am: The DWD posted an image on Twitter showing where German residents can expect to experience the fiercest weather conditions. The more red area means “high risk of bad weather”, while the orange area means “bad weather risk”.

The high risk areas could have 10-20cm of snow and in mountainous areas this could be up to 30cm. The orange areas meanwhile are predicted to get 5-10cm of snow.

11.20am: The major air hub of Frankfurt Airport has had to cancel 125 out of 1,100 flights due to the storm, a spokesperson said. Due to the cancellations, further delays should be expected during the day.

“The storm is so strong that airplane operations must be temporarily halted,” said the airport spokesperson.

In Bavarian Lower Franconia, several school buses could not bring children to school due to the severe weather. Most children were brought to nearby schools instead.

10.30am: The strong winds of Egon have uprooted trees and caused power outages as well as traffic delays in western states like Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate.

A traffic jam in Gummersbach, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA. 

“Since midnight we have had massive problems because of the storm,” said a spokesman from the city of Saarbrücken.

Atop the 554-metre high Weinbiet hill in Rhineland-Palatinate, the wind was measured at speeds of up to 148km/h.

The central state of Hesse has also been hit by the storm with at least 50 emergency operations by 10.30am due to overturned trees and other objects on roadways, a police spokesman for southern Hesse said.

A tree fallen on top of a car in Wiesbaden, Hesse. Photo: DPA.

Egon brought snow to Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. A stretch of the Autobahn 30 had to be blocked off after a truck overturned due to the snow. The rescue effort lasted until 9am and no one was injured.

The German Weather Service said areas of between 400 and 600 metres high could get up to 30cm of new snow within six hours.

By Friday mid-day, Egon should be heading to Poland.

DWD said that North Rhine-Westphalia and northern Saxony-Anhalt could have massive traffic problems, while in central, southern and northern coastal areas, there could be hurricane-force winds of up to 110 km/h.

A snow-clearing vehicle in Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Article source: https://www.thelocal.de/20170113/live-germany-braces-as-storm-egon-brings-heavy-snow-and-traffic-woes