Offenbach/Hamburg Fallen trees, loose roof tiles, canceled flights and delayed trains: storm depression “Ylenia” mainly hit the north and east of Germany. The fire brigades and police control centers reported numerous operations early on Thursday morning, but there was no major damage for the time being. The German Weather Service (DWD) in Offenbach had previously issued severe weather warnings for Wednesday evening to Thursday evening, mainly for the northern half of the country.
Due to the storm, Deutsche Bahn has stopped long-distance traffic in several federal states. In Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Berlin and Brandenburg, there are no long-distance trains, as the company announced on Thursday morning. There are also effects in other states.
Some of the flood levels on the North Sea coast of Lower Saxony were lower than expected. Unlike for Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) had not warned of a storm surge here either. However, water levels about 1 meter higher than mean high water (MHW) were expected. According to a BSH spokesman, the water levels on Borkum were about 84 centimeters above the mean high water level. On Norderney, the water rose to 1.01 meters above sea level. Values of 1.15 meters were reached in Emden and 1.09 in Wilhelmshaven.
The Hamburg fish market was flooded again early Thursday morning. “A value of 1.98 meters above the mean high water level (MHW) was measured at around 5 a.m. at the St. Pauli level,” said a spokesman for the storm surge warning service of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) in Hamburg. On the North Sea coast, the BSH speaks of a storm surge from 1.5 meters above MHW. A severe or very severe storm surge is only spoken of from values of 2.5 or 3.5 meters.
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There was a storm surge in some places on the Schleswig-Holstein North Sea coast – in Husum, for example, a water level of 1.64 meters above the mean high water was measured. At many other gauges, however, the water levels remained below the level of a storm surge. In Dagebüll, three centimeters were missing for a storm surge (1.47 meters above sea level) and in Büsum, too, the value remained just under a storm surge at 1.45 meters. In Hörnum on Sylt, only 1.35 meters were measured above the mean high water.
Lufthansa is canceling flights
The Berlin fire brigade declared a state of emergency early Thursday morning due to the storm “Ylenia”. Since 2 a.m. there has been a sharp increase in weather-related operations. Several volunteer fire brigades were called into service to support the professional fire brigade. In Lichterfelde, for example, three trees fell on several parked cars and a light pole was also carried away. There were initially no reports of injuries from Berlin.
Because of the storm, a tree about 40 meters high fell on Thursday night and fell on the rails of the Wuppertal suspension railway. The fire brigade was in action with a crane and a ladder truck, sawed the tree in the night and cleared it away, said a fire brigade spokesman. According to the report, structural engineers should still check whether the suspension railway can run on Thursday as planned.
A corona test station in Kleve on the Lower Rhine could not withstand the storm on Wednesday evening. The wind destroyed the tent of the drive-in test center in North Rhine-Westphalia, according to the fire brigade. According to firefighters, no one was injured.
The storm also affected rail and air traffic. Fallen trees hampered trains. The extent was initially limited during the night. A tree fell on the tracks near Buchholz between Bremen and Hamburg. An ICE therefore had to be diverted, as a railway spokesman said.
According to the company, trees in North Rhine-Westphalia blocked isolated side routes in the Dortmund area. The Dortmund-Münster connection was temporarily affected. Deutsche Bahn advised to find out about delays or train cancellations.
As a precaution, Lufthansa canceled 20 flights, as the company announced during the night on request. Travelers were advised to check the airline’s website for the status of their flight. According to the operator, connections to Berlin, Hamburg and Munich are affected at the largest German airport in Frankfurt.
Wind speeds of up to 156 kilometers per hour were measured at night on the Brocken in the Harz Mountains. The value was recorded shortly after midnight, said a spokesman for the German Weather Service (DWD). He pointed out that the figures are still provisional and could still be corrected by a few kilometers per hour.
In other parts of Germany, too, there were hurricane gusts and hurricane-like gusts in exposed locations such as mountain peaks: According to the observation table of the DWD, wind speeds of an average of 87 km/h were measured between 0.30 a.m. and 1.00 a.m. on the Feldberg in the Black Forest, with peaks of 125 km /H. There were heavy gusts of wind, for example, at Cape Arkona on Rügen (77 km/h, 105 km/h peak) and at the Kiel lighthouse (79 km/h, 101 km/h peak).
Schools in NRW remain closed
In North Rhine-Westphalia, state school minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) canceled classes for Thursday. In several regions of Lower Saxony or Bavaria, for example, schoolchildren are allowed to stay at home on Thursday because of the weather hazards.
According to the DWD, the wind from low “Ylenia” will slowly decrease from Thursday afternoon. However, the breather should only be brief. The next hurricane – called “Zeynep” – is expected to come from the British Isles as early as Friday afternoon.
According to the DWD, the northern half in particular will probably be affected again. But the forecasts are not entirely certain: “The models still have very different simulations,” said press spokesman and meteorologist Andreas Friedrich on Wednesday. The weather situation is very dynamic.
According to the ADAC in North Rhine-Westphalia, motorists should leave their cars where they are and avoid trips that are not absolutely necessary. Fallen trees or branches must be expected at any time. Deutsche Bahn announced that goodwill regulations for the validity of long-distance tickets already purchased would apply for the Thursday/Friday period. More flexible use over several days or free cancellations are possible.
Numerous zoos, for example in Berlin, Wuppertal in North Rhine-Westphalia and in Magdeburg (Saxony-Anhalt), should remain closed on Thursday as a precaution. Visiting cemeteries was forbidden here and there. Many ski areas also prepared for the hurricane lows. The Fichtelberg suspension railway in Saxony was already standing still on Wednesday. Because of the risk of tree breakage, some trails are to be closed. In many cities, the weekly markets for Thursday have been canceled.
At the end of January, the storm “Nadia” swept through northern and eastern Germany with dangerous gusts, causing millions in damage. According to the DWD meteorologist Andreas Friedrich, the current storms are comparable to the “Nadia” low in terms of wind peaks. From his point of view, however, the current situation is more explosive, “because we have a chain of storm lows”.