Germany: Lightning, heavy rain and flooded roads

Published On: June 28, 2024

From Bavaria to Hamburg, from North Rhine-Westphalia to Thuringia - there was heavy rainfall in numerous regions.

Cellars flooded, streets were under water. The weather service is warning of severe weather again this weekend.

Tagesschau: Heavy thunderstorms have swept across Germany, causing heavy rain in some areas. This time, the north was also affected. Oppressive heat was followed by heavy thunderstorms. According to the Hamburg fire brigade, there were more than 700 weather-related operations by early evening. In addition to flooded cellars and flooded streets, the emergency services dealt with uprooted trees and fallen branches.

The train line between Bremen and Hamburg had to be closed temporarily. The tracks were flooded and submerged near Tostedt (Harburg district), it was reported. According to the railway, long-distance trains were diverted via Hanover, and several regional trains were cancelled. The line is now open again, at least to a limited extent. Travelers should expect delays of around 15 minutes.

In Baden-Württemberg, several railway lines also had to be closed due to weather damage. DB Regio announced that the section of the line between Herbertingen (Sigmaringen district) and Aulendorf north of Lake Constance was closed. Train journeys are expected to be impossible there until Saturday, it said.

Damage caused by lightning in the east

In the east, Thuringia in particular reported hours of rain, with up to 30 litres falling per square metre. The town of Gerthausen (municipality of Rhönblick) was particularly hard hit. Here, the Herpf river swelled within minutes. Parts of the town were under up to 50 centimetres of water. Cellars flooded.

The German Weather Service (DWD) issued severe weather warnings for several districts and cities – including in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. They also explicitly warned of lightning strikes. In Gernrode in Saxony-Anhalt, a lightning strike destroyed the chimney of a single-family home, and in Unterpörlitz in Thuringia, a roof structure caught fire after a lightning strike.

Heavy rain in Bavaria and Hesse

In Bavaria, too, an official storm warning was in effect for several regions until the evening, including parts of Upper Franconia, Lower Bavaria, Upper Palatinate and several districts in Middle Franconia. In the Hof district in the Upper Franconia region, it was already raining heavily around midday. As a result, water accumulated on the roads. There were further delays on the railway line between Munich and Ingolstadt after a signal box near Dachau had been damaged by several lightning strikes.

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In Hesse, there were severe thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail, particularly in the north and east. In Bebra (Hersfeld-Rotenburg), the fire brigade was in constant use. “There are lots of flooded cellars and flooded streets,” Mayor Stefan Knoche told HR. A crisis team has been set up in the city. The vocational schools remained closed on Friday because the rooms were flooded with water.

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Hailstones the size of quail eggs fell from the sky

Damage from the storms was also reported in North Rhine-Westphalia. Heavy thunderstorms swept through East Westphalia-Lippe on Thursday. The fire brigade had to be called out frequently after strong gusts of wind and heavy rainfall. Detmold was also hit hard. Streets there were flooded. Heavy rain and hailstones the size of quail eggs fell from the sky. The fire brigade reported around 80 operations.

The storms also had an impact on the highways of the largest federal state: the A33 had to be closed at the Wünnenberg-Haaren junction. There was an accident on the A44. The B238 was also under water.

More thunderstorms this weekend

For today, the DWD is predicting a slight calming of the weather for most regions. Thunderstorms are expected from midday, especially in the south and east, but only isolated severe weather. “The big bang will then occur from late Saturday afternoon and evening with a thunderstorm that will move from France to western Germany,” explains DWD meteorologist Marcel Schmid. The weather service is warning of a “significantly increased risk of severe weather.” In the south and east, however, it is expected to remain dry.

On Sunday, the DWD is expecting very unsettled weather. In the northwestern half and in the Alps, heavy rain is expected to last for several hours, said the meteorologist. Otherwise, there will be showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures will also plummet – only in the east are temperatures again reaching 30 degrees. Otherwise, maximum temperatures will be between 20 and 27 degrees.

Meanwhile in Italy

Meanwhile in Switzerland

See also

Past weeks saw unprecedented flooding in parts of Germany

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