Chaos in Germany – massive onset of winter: cars stranded in the cold


The winter layer “Gertrud” causes chaos in Germany. Flights are cancelled, drivers are stranded in the cold and accidents push the emergency services to their limits. The bad news: a lot of fresh snow is forecast on Thursday.

Hundreds of vehicles got stuck overnight on various highways in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate due to slippery conditions and snow. In East Hesse, prisoners were provided with blankets and hot drinks by rescuers. Due to the persistent ice danger, many flights at Frankfurt Airport were canceled on Thursday. Due to the winter weather, there are no buses in Cologne. The German weather service expected a lot of snow on Thursday.

DWD warns of “stormy amounts of fresh snow”
From the Eifel and the Cologne region via the Rothaar Mountains to Thuringia, people must prepare for “persistent and sometimes heavy snowfall”.

The DWD expected ‘stormy amounts of fresh snow’ of up to 30 centimeters within 24 hours and warned of ‘significant traffic disruption and the risk of snow breakage’. “Snowfall repeatedly causes traffic disruptions, especially in the lowlands,” the German weather service said.

The DWD also predicted snowfall for the southeastern half, initially rain for the extreme southeast, later snow there too. Otherwise, the forecast calls for isolated snow showers, with breaks in between. Sunny winter weather can be expected throughout Germany by the weekend.

Huge traffic disruption
On Thursday evening there were enormous traffic disruptions on several highways in Germany due to the weather. According to an initial estimate by the police, around 2,000 people were stuck in kilometers of traffic jams on the A3 in northern Rhineland-Palatinate.

Because trucks got stuck on the snow-covered road, nothing worked on the A4, A5 and A7 highways in Eastern Hesse. In addition to clearing vehicles at the road maintenance service, Red Cross support vehicles had been deployed to provide drivers with blankets and hot drinks in the cold, a police spokesman said in the evening.

The DWD also advised drivers on Thursday to ensure that, in addition to a sufficiently full tank in the car, they also have warm clothing and blankets, as well as hot drinks and food. The German Alpine Club warned: “In heavy snowfall, branches and tree tops may break. Some fall to the ground, some are still hanging in the trees.”

Kites stay on the ground
Many flights were also canceled at Frankfurt airport on Thursday. This is evident from a look at the arrival and departure boards on the airport’s website. “Passengers are asked to check their flight status on airline websites before arriving at the airport and allow sufficient time for the journey,” the site said. “If your flight is canceled, do not come to the airport.”

Due to freezing rain, aircraft takeoffs at Germany’s largest airport were temporarily suspended on Wednesday afternoon. Fraport justified this by saying that the machines could no longer be safely defrosted before takeoff due to the persistent icy conditions. Individual machines have been able to start again since Wednesday afternoon.

Due to the weather conditions, school cancellations were expected in some districts on Thursday, as on Wednesday.

Source: Krone


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