Police and fire brigade are required. The Hamburg fish market is under water, trains and ferries are canceled. And on the North Sea, seafarers have to abseil onto a freighter when the wind is force 10.
Hamburg – Delayed trains, fallen trees, objects flying around and suspended ferry connections: Last night, the storm “Nadia” brought hurricane-like gusts and a storm surge to northern Germany.
Fire brigades and the police had to turn out hundreds of times. There is no breather: According to the German Weather Service (DWD), the storm is expected to last until this morning. And the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) is already warning of the next storm surge.
In Hamburg alone there have been around 300 storm operations so far, said a police spokesman early in the morning. A severe storm surge had previously flooded the fish market in the St. Pauli district. According to the BSH, the apex was reached at around 12:17 a.m. The water level was 2.84 meters above the mean high tide, as a spokeswoman said. The BSH had expected water levels in Hamburg to be up to 3 meters above mean high water. As a dpa photographer reported, hundreds of onlookers were drawn to the fish market. Several cars were damaged by the flooding.
According to the BSH, there was also a storm surge on other sections of the coast last night. “Not everywhere a severe storm surge like in Hamburg,” said the spokeswoman. However, the entire German North Sea coast was affected. In Bremerhaven, for example, the peak value was 2.14 meters above the mean high water level.
On the North Sea coast, one speaks of a storm surge when the flood water is at least 1.5 meters higher than normal. A severe or very severe storm surge is only spoken of from values of 2.5 or 3.5 meters.
There were also two incidents involving ships in Hamburg and on the North Sea: a barge got stuck under a bridge in the port of Hamburg. A police spokesman said the ship got stuck when driving through the wheelhouse on the Freihafenelbbrücke and got stuck. According to initial reports, there were no injuries. There were two people on board the ship. The cause of the accident was initially unclear. It is possible that the captain misjudged the rising water level of the Elbe.
The second incident occurred 16 nautical miles (approx. 30 kilometers) off the East Frisian coast. There, an unloaded freighter drifted in the sea for several hours. The 190-meter-long “Vienna” clearly had problems maneuvering because of the storm, as a spokesman for the emergency command in Cuxhaven announced in the morning. The machine was too weak to hold the ship against wind and waves. Therefore, among other things, emergency tugs were sent to the distressed vessel. The freighter was secured after about six hours.
“Had we not intervened, the ship would have become a risk to the coast,” the spokesman said. According to initial findings, the 24 crew members were not injured. The freighter, flying the Marshall Islands flag, was not damaged. In order to establish the towing connection, several specially trained seafarers were roped down from a Federal Police helicopter onto the freighter. However, the storm low over the North Sea made the operation considerably more difficult. At wind force 10, the waves on the North Sea were six to seven meters high.
There were also other deployments in Schleswig-Holstein, for example. In the north of the country alone, the fire brigades had to be deployed around 120 times. That said a spokesman for the regional control center, which is responsible for Flensburg, Schleswig and Husum, among other things.
According to a spokesman, the fire brigade in Bremen was deployed more than 40 times during the night. In the district of Aurich in East Friesland, the fire brigade was called around 25 times for help.
The storm also brought fire and police in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania many operations. A spokesman for the fire brigade said they had been deployed almost 200 times in Schwerin and the surrounding area. In Stralsund, too, the situation center reported that they had their hands full.
Due to storm damage, there were also massive problems in rail traffic in northern Germany. Yesterday in the early evening, Deutsche Bahn stopped long-distance traffic in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Bremen for about 50 minutes. The ICE routes between Hamburg and Bremen and between Hamburg and Berlin were particularly affected. There are still major impairments there, as a spokesman said.
According to Bahn, there are also cancellations and delays in regional transport. Travelers and commuters should find out whether their train is running as planned via the website, the app or by telephone before starting their journey. When the trains will run again as planned depends on the further course of the storm, said the railway spokesman.
Because of the severe weather warnings, numerous ferry connections were also canceled at the weekend. All connections of the Hallig line on the North Sea were canceled at the weekend, as the Wyker Dampfschiffs-Reederei (WDR) announced. Connections from Föhr, Amrum and Dagebüll were also affected. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, ferry traffic on the Baltic Sea between Rostock and Gedser on the Danish island of Falster has been restricted. According to the Scandlines shipping company, several connections were canceled from yesterday afternoon to this morning. The regular timetable should be resumed later.
The German Weather Service (DWD) had warned of storms up to hurricane gusts yesterday. Wind speeds of up to 122.8 kilometers per hour were measured at the Kiel lighthouse and up to 118.1 kilometers per hour in Greifswald, said a DWD spokeswoman last night. The warning situation in the north is expected to last until this morning. Individual hurricane gusts are still possible.
According to BSH information, the northern German states are already threatened with the next storm surge: today the morning and afternoon floods on the German North Sea coast will be 1.5 to 2 meters and in the Weser and Elbe areas 2 to 2.5 meters higher than the average flood enter. For the Baltic Sea coast, the low water warning is still in force until Sunday morning. However, the experts expect that the water levels will rise up to 130 centimeters above the mean water level over the course of the day. dpa