Transportation disturbed, flights canceled as storm lashes Europe

Andrew Cummings
January 21, 2018

At Amsterdam's Airport Schiphol, all flights were grounded for about an hour Thursday morning because of the storm's strong winds, according to the AP.

Police confirmed three people have been killed by falling debris as the powerful weather system rages across Germany and the Netherlands.

The roads were not safe from the impact of the storm either, with authorities in Cologne reporting the birth of a baby boy in his parents' auto after they were caught up in the traffic chaos caused by the extreme conditions.

The airport also said "a few roof plates" were detached from the terminal building due to the high winds. As well as flight cancellations, many rail, tram and bus services also had to be cancelled, as the winds were literally blowing vehicles off the roads and tracks.

The storm, called Friederike in Germany, crossed the country from west to east before reaching Poland. Deutsche Bahn's announcement Thursday afternoon came hours after all trains in two of Germany's populous western areas, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, were halted.

German meteorologists are warning people to stay indoors, and many schools are closed.

Social media in the Netherlands was flooded with images of people being blown from their bicycles, cargo containers falling off a ship and damage to buildings, including a roof that peeled off an apartment block in Rotterdam. Flights were cancelled out of security concerns at Duesseldorf airport, while the Cologne and Bonn airports were forced to temporarily close down entirely.

Two people were killed in the Netherlands due to falling branches, Dutch authorities said.

Elsewhere in Europe, Tyrol state in western Austria said the Westbahn train line linking Vienna, Linz and Salzburg was closed on Thursday morning because of avalanche risk, national railways company OeBB said.

A national transport website, VID, reported that at least 17 trucks had been blown over by the strong winds.

Dutch people in the storm's path are using the hashtag #coderood to tweet photos of the storm damage.

Regional trains were also halted across northern and eastern Germany and some other areas, it said in a statement.

Other reports by iNewsToday