Snow chaos in Germany: accidents and school cancellations – drivers in NRW are lucky – Panorama

The meteorological start of winter is actually December 1st, but winter is already taking hold in Germany in the last days of November. A low pressure area over southern Germany is quickly shifting eastward – “behind it, polar cold air is flooding the entire country,” predict the meteorologists from the German Weather Service (DWD) in Offenbach. “Winter is here,” stated a DWD meteorologist. “The coming days will be cold and a maximum of slightly plus temperatures can be expected during the day.” Snow and slippery conditions should remain.

On Wednesday night it will be very cold in some parts of Germany: In higher low mountain ranges in the east and southeast, temperatures could drop to minus ten degrees in some cases – although there will be “slippery snow and freezing wetness in many places,” said the DWD. There can be a particularly lot of snow on Wednesday in the Harz Mountains and in a strip from the Emsland to the Weserbergland, with amounts of up to 15 centimeters in six hours not being ruled out.

The onset of winter led to considerable danger and damage on the roads in several federal states at the beginning of the week. There were a number of slippery accidents and road closures, especially at higher altitudes.

Berlin in white, the Brandenburg Gate in the background.

(Photo: Andreas Friedrichs/IMAGO)

“We receive reports of new accidents on the motorways every minute,” said the Berlin traffic information center on the X platform. The slippery snow affects the south of Berlin and the southern surrounding area.

“Trees fall like matchsticks”

In the Schwäbisch Hall district in Baden-Württemberg, a 71-year-old man died in a head-on collision on a snowy road on Monday evening. A 54-year-old driver died in a black ice accident near Denzerheide between Koblenz and Montabaur in Rhineland-Palatinate. A driver on the A2 in North Rhine-Westphalia was extremely lucky: in the area of ​​the Gütersloh junction he came off the road and rolled over, but was only slightly injured.

In the Rheingau-Taunus district of Hesse, District Administrator Sandro Zehner (CDU) called on residents overnight to stay at home on Tuesday. There is an acute danger to life due to broken branches and falling trees. The situation came to a head on Monday evening. Numerous drivers were stuck in their vehicles or had to be rescued from their cars. “The situation is extraordinary,” said district fire chief Michael Ehresmann on Monday evening. “Trees fall like matchsticks.”

Snow chaos: In the Taunus, winter service vehicles are deployed at night during heavy snowfalls.Snow chaos: In the Taunus, winter service vehicles are deployed at night during heavy snowfalls.

In the Taunus, winter service vehicles are used at night during heavy snowfalls.

(Photo: IMAGO/Jan Eifert/IMAGO/Jan Eifert)

On Tuesday morning the situation apparently eased somewhat, as Ehresmann said. However, many road closures still exist. Drivers have been ignoring closures again and again since the evening, putting their lives in danger.

In Wiesbaden, students spend the night in a school

Numerous students and supervisors from a Wiesbaden school spent Tuesday night in the school building. A fire brigade spokesman said on Tuesday morning that accommodation had been set up at the school for the night for 55 people, including 27 children from the entire Rhine-Main area, as they could not take school buses home.

Many streets around the Hesse state capital were completely closed. There are also disruptions on some routes on the railway, as the West Hesse police headquarters announced. At times there was a power outage in some places due to fallen trees, including in Hofheim am Taunus. In the Lower Franconian district of Main-Spessart, classes were canceled in many schools.

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