Motorist killed by tree in Lower Saxony

In the night of Thursday has that storm depression “Ylenia” hit large parts of Germany. But that was obviously just the beginning of a stormy end to the week. The hurricane “Zeynep” is already expected in northern Germany on Friday, and severe hurricane gusts are feared into the night of Saturday.

Reinhard Bingener

Political correspondent for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen based in Hanover.

Matthias Wysuwa

Political correspondent for northern Germany and Scandinavia based in Hamburg.

But the storm “Ylenia” had already left its mark on the country by Thursday afternoon. From Schleswig-Holstein down to Bavaria, it kept the emergency services in suspense. Trees fell on houses and damaged them. Roofs were also damaged by the wind and some were covered. Two people died: in the Lower Saxony district of Uelzen near Bad Bevensen, a man in his car was killed by a falling oak tree. In Saxony-Anhalt, a 55-year-old died on a country road near southern Harz. A tree fell on the man’s car due to the strong wind, police said. The moving car then overturned. In Germering near Munich, a man was hit by a tree and seriously injured.

Train and air traffic failures

In addition, there was at least no major damage at first. In the north and west of Germany, roads were blocked by fallen trees, which were used by the emergency services fire Department had to be cleared. On the A29 near Oldenburg, a truck was hit by a gust on the Hunte Bridge and overturned; the bridge was closed in the direction of Wilhelmshaven for many hours. There were also some cancellations in air traffic.

There were severe restrictions on rail traffic in large parts of northern Germany. After many private railway operators had already stopped their journeys on Wednesday evening, Deutsche Bahn also suspended long-distance traffic in the north until noon from Thursday morning and also struggled with severe disabilities in regional traffic. In many places, the overhead lines were damaged by fallen trees. The restrictions on rail traffic are likely to last until Saturday; Deutsche Bahn offers customers the option of using tickets they have already purchased later or canceling them free of charge.

Heavy gusts of wind are expected.

Schools were also closed in many places because of Ylenia. The North Rhine-Westphalian state government canceled classes throughout the state on Thursday, and in Lower Saxony many districts also decided to keep schools closed. In Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, parents were free to leave their children at home. Many other facilities also remained closed, such as zoos in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania or Hamburg. In the Hanseatic city, the Ohlsdorf, Öjendorf, Volksdorf and Wohldorf cemeteries were also closed, and all funeral services and burials were cancelled. Falling branches and falling trees could be dangerous for visitors, it said.

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