Snow and ice have paralyzed road and rail traffic in many regions of Germany. According to Deutsche Bahn, there were delays and train cancellations in large parts of the country on Monday "due to extreme bad weather." Several long-distance services were completely suspended. Numerous accidents occurred on the roads. Stuck trucks blocked the highways after heavy snowfall, for example in the north and east of Hesse on the A4 and the A7. "The situation is catastrophic," a police spokesman in Fulda said early Monday morning.
In weather-related accidents, police counted one death and 37 minor injuries in North Rhine-Westphalia alone between Sunday morning and Monday morning (both 6:00 a.m.). In Duisburg on Sunday, a car left the road and landed in a stream. The driver was unfortunately killed. In addition, police found a dead man in the snow in downtown Bielefeld on Monday morning. It was still unclear whether the person had frozen to death or whether he died due to a medical emergency.
The meteorologists of the German Weather Service (DWD) expected heavy snowfall over central Germany on Monday. During the day, there would be widespread frost - except in the southwest and the very south. "On the edge of a strong high over northern Europe, very cold Arctic polar air is directed to Germany with an easterly current. In the south, milder air masses persist with a southwesterly current," the DWD's warning situation report said.
At the Baltic Sea, people had to prepare for high water. A continuous easterly wind is bringing masses of water to the Baltic coast, a meteorologist said. For Monday, up to 80 centimeters higher water levels are expected in the Bay of Kiel and also in the Bay of Lübeck where the water is expected to rise significantly.
Because of the weather, several cities completely suspended bus services - in Hesse, Kassel and Marburg an der Lahn, among others. The reason was the heavy snowfall and icy roads, stated the Marburg public utility company. In Kassel, according to the local public utility company, not only the buses but also the trams remained in the depots.
On the highways in Westphalia there is still a driving ban for trucks over 7.5 tons until Monday afternoon at 6 pm. The reason for this is the persistent snowfall and icy roads. Some highways are so heavily iced over that it is currently impossible to clear the roads completely of ice and snow. In Lower Saxony, a driving ban is also in force in the districts of Emsland, Osnabrück and Grafschaft Bentheim, and around Osnabrück the ban has even been extended until midnight.