Storm Axel worst German flooding in decades
Flooded streets and basements, cars underwater, dams overwhelmed – storm Axel brought great damage to parts of the Baltic coast in Germany last Wednesday.
A lot of northern cities were affected by the flooding, as well as the island of Rügen. Some dikes had flooded. Houses on the beach were left swamped with water, and boats were pushed onto jetties. By late Wednesday evening, many locations along the Baltic Sea had water levels of 150cm to 170cm higher than usual.
In Kiel, many streets had to be blocked off for traffic, while in Lübeck it was not possible for pedestrians to access the Old City area. The Lübeck fire brigade said they had been inundated with emergency calls.
“Many people had not sufficiently secured their houses and we had to protect things with sand bags,” said Matthias Schäfer from the fire services.
On the island of Usedom, stairways, snack stands and part of a beach promenade were washed away, according to a spokesman for the town, Achim Froitzheim. In Rostock, many houses along the Warnow river had been vulnerable and one street was blocked off for several kilometers due to high water levels.
Axel is now set to make its way from Scandinavia over the Baltic Sea to Belarus. But German weather service DWD said residents of east and south Germany can still expect to experience strong snow and sleet on Thursday. In mountainous areas, the temperatures could fall to -20C.
By Friday across Germany, frosty temperatures are predicted, as low as -7C in some places.
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