Widespread damage as Storm “Eberhard” hits Germany

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A strong winter storm named “Eberhard” by German weather authorities swept through Belgium, Netherlands and Germany on March 10, 2019, downing trees and causing traffic chaos. 

Gale-force winds were recorded across the country, chilly temperatures and heavy snowfall in the northern city of Hanover. Dortmund Airport recorded wind gusts up to 120 km/h (75 mph) while Feldberg Peak in Baden-Württemberg registered 150 km/h (93 mph).

At least one person was killed in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state, after a tree fell on his car in Sauerland, the Deutsche Welle reported.

The village of Föritztal-Mönchsberg in eastern Germany was cut off from the world by falling trees, the paper reported, adding that several residents who were unable to return to their homes were given accommodation by the fire brigade or aid organizations.

Trains were halted across NRW and passengers offered ticket refunds or ‘flexible’ usage after the storm.

German Rail said international trains from the state to Netherlands and Belgium were also temporarily halted.

Strong winds toppled a heavy dockside loading crane into the Rhine River and forced closure of zoos and other tourist attractions in Dortmund and Essen.

Wind damage was also reported in Frankfurt, Mannheim and Stuttgart while some of the ski resorts in Baden-Württemberg shut down their ski lift during 150 km/h (93 mph) winds.

Emergency services in Bavaria reported 900 storm-related incidents.

The storm has since moved into Poland but DWD is warning wet weather with occasional strong winds will continue through the rest of the week. This is typical April weather – rain, snow and sleet, the service said.

Featured image credit: Einsatzfahrten Düsseldorf – Emergency Response

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