Severe storms move over Germany


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Status: 06/23/2023 01:30 a.m

Severe storms are causing damage from flooding and fallen trees in large parts of Germany. Rail traffic is significantly affected nationwide, many routes are closed. Severe weather warnings apply to most federal states.

In large parts of Germany there are storms after the heat of the past few weeks. Covered roofs, fallen trees, flooded basements and hail damage to buildings have already been reported from central, southern and southwestern Germany.

Deutsche Bahn spoke of significant restrictions on train traffic nationwide and lifted the train connection for trips planned on Thursday and Friday. Several routes were closed on Thursday evening, including the important routes Hamburg – Berlin, Hanover – Berlin, from Fulda via Kassel to Göttingen and from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden.

For stranded passengers, Deutsche Bahn made overnight trains available in several German cities on Thursday evening. According to a railway spokeswoman, corresponding trains have been used in Berlin, Bremen, Frankfurt am Main, Göttingen, Hamburg, Hanover and Kassel.

The German Weather Service (DWD) had announced heavy rain, hail and gusts of wind. In some places, thunderstorms can cause heavy rain with up to 40 liters per square meter within a short time. Storm to hurricane gusts with wind speeds of 80 to 120 km/h are also possible. The risk of severe weather will slowly decrease from the west in the second half of Friday night.

Severe weather warnings have already been issued for areas in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland as far as Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.


Deep “Lambert” brought heavy rain, wind and hail over Hesse. At Waldeck am Edersee, some roofs were covered, the police said. A number of cellars were full and many trees fell over, some on parked cars. There is hail damage to buildings.

In the meantime, the operation of buses and trains had been completely stopped in Kassel. This measure in the afternoon was chosen for safety reasons, the Kasseler Verkehrsgesellschaft (KVG) announced. “Stormy gusts, extreme rainfall and hailstorms, for example, led to flooded roads and tracks, branches and trees that fell onto tracks or overhead lines and blocked the routes, according to the KVG. Some lines are now running again.

Long-distance traffic is also affected. The railway line between Fulda, Kassel and Göttingen is currently closed. Trains from the south end in Frankfurt and ICE/IC trains from the north end and start in Hanover. The Frankfurt-Mainz-Wiesbaden route is also affected by a closure. Train traffic is currently not possible there, as Deutsche Bahn announced on its website.

North Rhine-Westphalia

Some heavy rain and thunderstorms reached North Rhine-Westphalia in the early evening. Severe weather warnings from the DWD apply to large parts of the most populous federal state. Among them were temporary warnings of the highest level. So far there have been no reports of major damage or injuries.

In Duisburg there were at least 420 fire brigade operations on Friday night. A spokesman for the fire brigade said it was flooded basements, flooded streets and fallen trees. Some people were locked in their vehicles and had to be freed. Several streets in the city of Duisburg were no longer passable due to flooding. As a result, there are numerous traffic delays. According to the fire brigade, it is on site with around 350 missions – the technical relief organization with around 42.

As the Märkischer Kreis police reported, basements were full, streets were flooded and gullies were pushed up. In Bad Berleburg in the district of Siegen, golf ball-sized hailstones rained down from the sky. However, the low-pressure area was relatively small, so in other places people hardly noticed the storm.

In the district of Soest, the fire brigade reported more than 40 operations after heavy rain, especially in the district town of Soest. According to the information, it was mostly about water in basements and flooded streets. According to the local control center, firefighters in the Paderborn district went on 13 missions in and around Niederntudorf south of Paderborn because of water in the cellars.

Deutsche Bahn announced that the Siegen-Letmathe route had to be closed. IC trains on the Frankfurt-Siegen-Münster route were therefore canceled. According to the company’s initial findings, at least three trees fell into the overhead lines on this route. The repairs to the damaged overhead lines may not be completed until Friday, said a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bahn.


Thunderstorms with heavy rain and wind also hit Rhineland-Palatinate, initially in the Eifel, on the Ahr and in the Trier area. In the Westerwald, a tree fell on a car, the driver was slightly injured. Several trees also fell on the road in the Cochem-Zell district. The fire brigade has already responded to flooded basements.

In Neuwied, the heavy rain caused a rainwater retention basin under construction to overflow, which threatened to break. The fire brigade and technical relief organization pumped the 4,000 cubic meters out of the basin so that the street behind it would not be flooded. Residents were evacuated as a precaution.

Rescue workers sometimes describe dramatic operations. “During one operation, a tree fell on a moving car. During another operation, people had to be rescued from their cars in a flooded underpass,” said the fire and disaster protection of the Neuwied district. According to the Koblenz police headquarters, no one was injured in the vehicle with a fallen tree.

Streets were flooded in Kinheim on the Moselle and in Brücktal near Kelberg. Nobody was injured. The DWD has now lifted the severe weather warning for Rhineland-Palatinate.


According to an expert from the Maritime Weather Office in Hamburg, there should be extremely heavy, storm-like heavy rain and severe thunderstorms in the late evening, especially in and around Hamburg and in the direction of the state border with Mecklenburg. Between 30 and 60 liters of rain per square meter can fall. Floods and landslides are possible.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein

According to the DWD, the extremely heavy rain is expected to reach Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the second half of the night. Beyond Pinneberg and Ratzeburg, the risk of storms decreases significantly. “More north, the rain will also arrive, but in a much more moderate form.”

Lower Saxony

The fire brigade in Braunschweig received around 1,600 storm-related emergency calls by 8 p.m. Because of the many calls, there are long waiting times for the emergency call system, the fire brigade said. She asked the callers not to hang up. Emergency calls are answered as soon as possible.

According to the information, the fire brigade was deployed to more than 340 storm operations by 8:30 p.m. The work of the emergency services will take several hours, it said. “The Braunschweig fire brigade is preparing for a long and busy night.” The two guards from the professional fire brigade, all 30 local fire brigades, special vehicles and the technical relief organization are on duty. It is a large-scale operation.

According to their own statements, the police and fire brigade in Göttingen went on several missions, for example because the cellar was full. For southern Lower Saxony, the DWD advised against staying outdoors. Distance should be kept from trees, towers, buildings, scaffolding and masts. There should therefore be a distance of at least 20 meters to high-voltage lines. A concert by the British singer Sting in Lingen, Lower Saxony, was canceled.

People were also asked to keep windows and doors closed. There is danger to life from lightning, storm damage and falling trees. Outdoor objects should be secured, it said.

Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Brandenburg

In the Harz district, numerous cellars were full. The Harz integrated control center spoke of countless operations in the evening, but was initially unable to name an exact number. A further focus of use in addition to the flooded cellars are trees on streets. A dpa reporter also reported on flooding, including in Blankenburg.

The violent thunderstorms are moving from the west towards eastern Germany. The DWD warns of severe thunderstorms in the late evening and at night in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. There could be up to 50 liters of precipitation per square meter locally in a short time. Heavy gusts of wind up to 100 kilometers per hour and “large hail up to five centimeters in size” are possible in addition to the heavy rain. Overall, however, a decrease in thunderstorm activity can be expected during the night, according to the DWD.

Berlin and Brandenburg

The DWD has also issued official severe weather warnings for Berlin and Brandenburg. Heavy thunderstorms with large amounts of rain and gusty winds are expected. According to the DWD, even tornadoes are very occasionally possible.


There were isolated thunderstorms in the evening over Bavaria. Hailstones the size of a golf ball fell in the Upper Bavarian valley. Initially, the police were not aware of any damage. On the B2 near Roth, an Audi got off the road and got stuck in a tree in a wooded area. The driver suffered moderate injuries in the accident and was able to get out of the vehicle on his own.

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