x

Travel

Heavy Snowstorm Pounds Germany, Upends Travel

February 7, 2021

BERLIN — A snowstorm and strong winds pounded northern and western Germany on Sunday, forcing trains to cancel trips and leading to hundreds of road accidents. Police said 28 people were injured on icy roads.

The German Weather Service DWD urged people to stay at home and authorities brought homeless people into warm shelters amid the sub-zero temperatures.

National train operator Deutsche Bahn said main train routes between Hamburg and Hannover, Berlin and the west were canceled as snowdrifts piled up on the tracks and power lines. Some train connections in the east were also canceled, though most of the snow came down in the northwest.

Police in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia said early Sunday they had counted 222 accidents due to the bad weather conditions since Saturday afternoon. They said two people among the 28 were severely injured.

In the western city of Muenster, among the hardest hit places, there was so much snow on the streets that ambulances could no longer drive and all public transportation was shut down. More than 30 centimeters (almost 12 inches) of snow had fallen, piling up to 1 meter (over 3 feet) in some parts, and more snow was expected to fall on Sunday.

In Wuppertal, in western Germany, firefighters had to rescue six passengers out of the city's famous elevated railway after a train stopped moving due to the icy conditions. They had to climb up on ladders to reach the people on the train and help them down to the ground, dpa reported.

City authorities in the western town of Hagen walked through the streets at night waking up homeless people sleeping outside and taking them to shelters, the German news agency dpa reported. In Berlin, the capital's biggest shelter, a tent city on the outskirts, was cleared early Saturday to make sure people don't freeze to death in sub-zero temperatures.

While the west of the country was freezing, southern Germany experienced balmy, spring-like temperatures. 

The unusual weather and temperature divide was caused by a polar vortex pushing icy air from the Arctic toward northern Germany just as a low pressure front brings wet, warm weather from the southwest, the DWD said.

In the Netherlands, snow blanketed much of the country, forcing the government to cancel a weekly crisis meeting to discuss the coronavirus pandemic. Train services were suspended and Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport warned passengers of possible flight cancellations.

National broadcaster NOS showed images of an early morning snowball fight involving locals and police on Amsterdam's central Dam Square.

RELATED

The rollout of new 5G wireless service in the US failed to have the much-dreaded result of crippling air travel, although it began in rocky fashion, with international airlines canceling some flights to the U.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

1 NYPD Officer Killed, 1 Severely Injured in Harlem Shooting (Vid)

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer was killed and another critically wounded Friday night while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son, officials said, making four officers shot in the city in as many days.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.